Knicks: Why trading Quentin Grimes wouldn’t be a bad decision

New York Knicks guard Quentin Grimes (6) drives to the basket against Toronto Raptors guard Gradey Dick (1) during the second quarter at Madison Square Garden
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

As the trade deadline is approaching fast, the New York Knicks are gearing up to make another splash move to add an important piece to their roster. As a result, one fan favorite could see his time with the Knicks end soon, but it may be for the better of the organization.

Quentin Grimes’ time in New York could be over soon

Third-year backup guard Quentin Grimes has been in the headlines recently. According to the New York Post’s Stefan Bondy, the Knicks are “actively trying to move him before the Feb. 8 trade deadline.” SNY’s Ian Begley reported earlier this week that a number of teams have expressed interest in the former Houston product, including the Hawks, Grizzlies, Rockets, and Jazz.

The Knicks have a relatively clear need with the deadline on the horizon. They need an additional shot creator and facilitator who can make up for the losses of Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett.

Some names that have been floated around in rumors are Hawks’ star Dejounte Murray as well as bench scoring options like Blazers’ guard Malcolm Brogdon, Hornets’ guard Terry Rozier, and Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson.

Grimes has regressed in his third season

Grimes, 23, has been tabbed as a solid three-and-D guard for the Knicks and was a breakout candidate coming into the season, but there hasn’t been a year three leap out of him. Despite shooting 37% from three, he’s only shooting 39% from the field and is averaging just 7 points per game. His struggles ultimately led him to lose his starting shooting guard spot to Donte DiVincenzo.

Grimes’ lack of involvement in the Knicks offense has been more apparent with each passing game. While one could pinpoint that to his role as a spot-up shooter, he has yet to showcase the ability to facilitate offense.

The Knicks need more bench production

After the Knicks acquired OG Anunoby from the Raptors, their starting five have been tremendous, but their bench production has been horrific. Since Dec. 30, the Knicks are averaging 23.5 points per game on 38% shooting from their bench, both of which are second worst in the NBA over that span.

The lack of production from the second unit is not fully Grimes’ fault, but given that he was expected to be a major contributor off the bench and provide solid-level scoring, the fact that he is continuing to regress is hurting him and the team.

Grimes should be a part of a bigger trade package

Now, if the Knicks do end up moving on from Grimes, they should package him as a part of a bigger deal that brings an upgraded piece to the team, rather than simply acquiring draft capital. They are still looking to move Evan Fournier’s contract as well, so the expectation can be that the pair of guards would be shipped together elsewhere along with draft compensation for a piece that improves their depth in some facet.

Murray would likely cost additional draft picks along with Grimes and Fournier, and if the Knicks are unwilling to meet Atlanta’s demands, pivoting towards Brogdon or a similar player is still a good backup plan, and it would cost less draft capital to pull it off, leaving some wiggle room to make additional moves.

Nevertheless, the Knicks need to add another piece that puts them in a better position to contend this season. The team is beginning to move on from the idea of banking on the development of their younger pieces, and unfortunately for Grimes, his future as a Knick appears to be in peril.

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