How can the Knicks get the most out of Quentin Grimes in his rookie season?

quentin grimes, knicks

When the New York Knicks drafted Quentin Grimes with the 26th overall selection, they anticipated adding a solid 3-and-D player to the roster. Despite targeting Chris Duarte in the late lottery, the Knicks ended up with their second-best option in Grimes, who was a solid player for Houston last season in the AAC. Some might refrain from cooking Grimes as a 3-and-D player right off the bat, given his aggression and underrated athleticism driving to the hoop.

Over 30 games, Grimes posted 17.8 points, 2.0 assists, 5.7 rebounds, and shot 40% from three-point range, averaging 8.3 attempts per game. His 32.8 minutes per contest were the highest of his college year career last season, and he’s looking to make an impact as a rookie this upcoming season for his new team.

However, the Knicks signed Evan Fournier, a quality sharpshooter, to a four-year contract worth $78 million. Grimes will have to fight for playing time, but if there’s any way to get on the floor, it is by deploying elite defense. Tom Thibodeau loves players who exert maximum effort on defense, even if their scoring is lackluster at times. However, Grimes has the capabilities to provide value as a rebounder, on-ball defender, and three-point shooter.

Over two Summer League games, Grimes has averaged 34.7 minutes and 7.5 points. He is shooting 23.8% from the field and 35.7% from three-point range, but obviously, these numbers are affected by a small sample size.

Grimes has been overshadowed by rookies Miles McBride, Jericho Sims, and second-year players Obi  Toppin and Immanuel Quickley. He has shown flashes as a quality shooter but needs to be more consistent with his mid-range shot.

First-round draft picks for the Knicks are always heavily scrutinized early in their careers, as Toppin was put under a microscope last season. Averaging just 11 minutes per game isn’t ideal, but the emergence of Julius Randle put his development on the back-burner. The roster has enough talent to allow a gradual growth strategy for their youth, meaning Grimes won’t be expected to play a big role next season.

I would keep a close eye on Quentin, who has fantastic dunking ability to go with his efficient shooting statistics. While some might look at him and think of a Reggie Bullock replacement, he has far more athleticism and skills to develop, which could make him a well-rounded player at the NBA level. It all depends on his coaching and adaptation.

The key for Grimes to get on the floor this upcoming season boils down to his defense and ability to hit open shots. Thibs isn’t going to rely on him to be a focal point on offense and run the team, so allowing him to improve his spacing and curate open shots is his best chance at helping the team.