After the New York Knicks elected to vigorously keep Quentin Grimes out of the failed Donovan Mitchell pursuit, it created an expectation that the second-year wing would start over veteran Evan Fournier.
Grimes’ situation will be an interesting story to follow in the training camp as there are concerns about the Knicks’ lack of defensive upside in a Jalen Brunson-Fournier backcourt pairing.
Knicks President Leon Rose is confident that coach Tom Thibodeau will figure it out. He added there is no pressure on Thibodeau to give more minutes to any of the young players wantonly.
There’s no edict. We love our young players, believe me. But there’s no edict. Thibs (Thibodeau) is the coach. [Thibodeau] decides who plays how many minutes what the rotations are. And if there’s one thing I know about Thibs, he’s going to make decisions based on who’s gonna help us win a basketball game. And that’s his job and that’s his role and that’s what he does and I have full confidence in that.”Knicks President Leon Rose via MSG Network
Grimes worked his way from the end of the bench to a potential starter during his rookie season. His 38 percent three-point shooting coupled with his stout defense has made him indispensable.
“Last year, [Quentin] stepped in and did a great job before the injury. And he did a great job in the in the summer league. I think you saw the confidence the coach had in him last year. And Thibs had given them the opportunity, and he’s put in hours and hours in the gym over the summer, working on his game working with the coaches and preparing himself for this year and I’m looking forward to seeing what that translates into.”Knicks President Leon Rose via MSG Network
But it is not only Grimes. There is also Obi Toppin, who will still scamper for minutes behind Julius Randle. How about Immanuel Quickley, who showed he could be more than just a Sixth man last season? And there is Cam Reddish, who could be starting the season out of the regular rotation just like he did when he first arrived in New York. He is extension eligible and the Knicks gave up a first round pick for him.
Despite the Knicks trading away some of their veterans (Kemba Walker, Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel) for the cap space that allowed them to sign Brunson, there is still a rotation logjam.
But Rose has a strong belief in Thibodeau’s philosophy.
“The other thing Thibs says though and we’re looking forward to this, he says, everyone starts with a clean slate. When you come into the camp, everybody starts with a clean slate. And therefore, I look forward to the competition that’s going to take place come next Tuesday, when we start our first day of practice, and I think there’ll be a lot of competition going on for those minutes.”Knicks President Leon Rose via MSG Network
Late last season, with the pressure of going after a playoff or play-in spot had disappeared, the Knicks’ young players were unleashed, and it led to an exciting brand of basketball and some winning.
Is that something Thibodeau is willing to replicate to start the season?
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