Knicks could clear a path for former draft pick and FC Barcelona guard next season

Aug 11, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Yoeli Childs (50) dribbles against New York Knicks guard Rokas Jokubaitis (0) during an NBA Summer League game at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Amidst a highly active offseason for the New York Knicks, they may have a potential contributor waiting in the wings overseas. Rokas Jokubaitis, who was drafted by the Knicks in the second round of the 2021 NBA Draft, could find himself in the NBA after spending the last three years developing overseas.

Jokubaitis has spent the last three seasons in the EuroLeague

NBA: Summer League-New York Knicks at Los Angeles Lakers
Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Since being drafted in 2021, Jokubaitis has spent the last three seasons playing for FC Barcelona in the EuroLeague. He has averaged 7.6 points, 3.2 assists, and 0.5 steals per game across three seasons with FC Barcelona.

The 23-year-old guard initially signed a four-year deal with FC Barcelona in 2021, but has an opt-out for the 2024-2025 season, giving Jokubaitis the option to join the team that drafted him three years ago. The Knicks didn’t have a clear need for Jokubaitis in 2021, but given the current state of the Knicks, there could be a path for him to get some minutes as a backup.

A path can open up for Jokubaitis to play despite the Knicks’ current guard depth

May 19, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Miles McBride (2) drives to the basket against Indiana Pacers guard T.J. McConnell (9) during the fourth quarter of game seven of the second round of the 2024 NBA playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
May 19, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Miles McBride (2) drives to the basket against Indiana Pacers guard T.J. McConnell (9) during the fourth quarter of game seven of the second round of the 2024 NBA playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

While Miles McBride is the likely option as the team’s backup point guard, there is still room for Jokubaitis to play given McBride’s ability to play alongside other point guards. It was clearly evident in the postseason that the Knicks could’ve benefited from having another initiator on the floor, a problem that Jokubaitis could solve.

Knicks’ status around the league could be enticing for young Jokubaitis

Additionally, it makes sense for Jokubaitis to join the team now given their stature as a potential title contender in the NBA. Three years ago, the Knicks were struggling to find their identity, which likely wasn’t attractive for Jokubiatis to enter a situation that wasn’t exactly defined. In 2024, the Knicks have a clear identity and have risen up the ranks as one of the best teams in the league, which could entice the 23-year-old to join the ride.

Jokubaitis is expected to play for the Knicks in the 2024 Summer League, where he will look to make his presence known and potentially earn a roster spot for next season. While the Knicks rotation is mostly set for next season, a strong Summer League showing from Jokubaitis could add him to the fray as the Knicks enter next season as title contenders.

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