Knicks ‘actively’ trying to trade young shooting guard

New York Knicks guard Quentin Grimes (6) shoots in the first quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks face an interesting situation trying to find a proper balance between the playing time of Donte DiVincenzo, Josh Hart, and Quentin Grimes. It’s been troubling for head coach Tom Thibodeau to try to get all three involved, but the lack of consistency has disrupted the flow, and ultimately, one of them will need to be moved ahead of the trade deadline.

The most likely of the three to depart is Grimes, whose role is becoming even more muddied, and the player himself is growing frustrated over the strategy.

This season, the 23-year-old is averaging 19.8 minutes per game, down 10 minutes from last season. He’s averaging just 7.1 points, 1.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists, shooting .400 from the field and .390 from beyond the arch. his shooting has been solid, but the Knicks don’t necessarily want to use him in a big role, especially since his defense has been a bit spotty.

On the year, Grimes features a 116.7 defensive rating, down a bit from last year but well above his rookie number at 111.4. At this rate, it seems as if the Knicks are better off moving Grimes in a more comprehensive deal that lands a versatile guard who can handle the rock.

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The Knicks Having a Problem Guard

The Knicks have run into some issues behind Jalen Brunson, and while Miles McBride had a few good games, his passing qualities and ability to manage the distribution of the ball are suspect at times.

Losing Immanuel Quickley has proven to be a significant blow to the team’s distribution, and losing his scoring production has opened up a hole where there previously wasn’t. The Knicks made this move to acquire an elite defensive player in OG Anunoby, who’s been excellent since joining New York. However, a lot of pressure has fallen on Brunson’s shoulders to handle the load, and it is not surprising he picked up an injury managing extreme minutes.

The Knicks have been considering adding a versatile guard, with an option like Dejounte Murray bubbling to the surface from the Atlanta Hawks. The interest there has seemingly quieted over the past few days, but reports have indicated the Knicks could look to Bruce Brown as a potential fit or pivot to a different alternative.

Unfortunately, Brunson‘s loss has reduced the Knicks’ scoring by over 20 points, which is problematic, to say the least. It is possible that Rose tries to leverage Grimes and offload a big deal like Evan Fournier to acquire another player with a similar contract.

Essentially, it would be a swap of bad deals, and the Knicks can throw in Grimes if it means landing an actual contributor in return. For now, Fournier continues to ride the bench, which is a non-factor, so the next step would be looking for a player who can instantly make an impact.

There’s been some interest in Portland Trailblazers scorer Malcolm Brogdon, who won the 6th Man of the Year award last season. Jordan Clarkson of the Utah Jazz makes sense, and even Collin Sexton could be an option. The Knicks don’t necessarily need a premium scorer who relies on volume but a guard who can distribute the ball and hit open shots.

The problematic scenario developed due to a lack of size at the shooting guard position, which has opened up a world of hurt for head coach Tom Thibodeau. The Knicks simply can’t utilize Grimes and DiVincenzo on the floor at the same time, playing only 36 minutes together this season. Trying to offer consistency while actively managing minutes is a recipe for disaster, and Thibodeau is feeling that pain.

Grimes still has plenty of value given his age and upside, so the Knicks can leverage those variables for a good piece that is under contract or pair some draft picks with Grimes to find a young scorer who can help move the ball more efficiently.