Knicks’ rookie Lithuanian guard is dominating overseas, here’s a look

The New York Knicks were unable to get a strong look at rookie draft selection Rokas Jokubaitis this summer, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t getting in some great work this season in the Euro League.

Jokubaitis is currently playing for FC Barcelona in the Spanish Liga, and as a savvy guard looking to build upon his offensive skill set, he could have a purpose as a two-way player for the Knicks in the future. Essentially, he is a stash guard who will develop playing against quality European players as he climbs the ranks. However, he has been phenomenal as of late for Barcelona, which should excite Knicks fans who are already above and beyond over a team that is capable of winning now.

According to John Hollinger of The Athletic, Knicks’ 34th overall pick, Rokas Jokubaitis has been dominating to start the Euro League this season.

At this point, European teams have already played several games, so we’re already getting an impression of who is off to a great start and who isn’t. The most notable outlier from the previous year’s performance might be Jokubaitis, who has exploded in the early going in his first season in Spain. Most notably, he’s been able to convert both frequently and efficiently inside the arc despite moving up to a more difficult league, hitting 20 of his 31 2-point attempts while drawing fouls at roughly double the rate of a year ago.

Of course, names like Quentin Grimes and Miles McBride will likely litter the headlines this upcoming season, but don’t forget about Jokubaitis; he’s making a name for himself quietly and building upon his skill set. While he does have athletic limitations and doesn’t offer much on defense, he is a strong scoring guard who has a versatile array of moves he can utilize at the NBA level.

So far, it seems as if the Knicks’ front office has knocked this past draft class out of the park. Grimes has already shown stellar defense and quality shooting but simply needs more playing time.

McBride is a young point guard with plenty to learn, but stashing him behind Kemba Walker and Derrick Rose should benefit him tremendously. In addition, the next retained center, Jericho Sims on the roster via a two-way contract.

Sims impressed with his aggressiveness in the paint and superior athleticism this off-season. With the right coaching and development, Sims could end up being a quality starter down the line.

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