Quentin Grimes leads Knicks to NBA Summer League Finals amid trade rumors

Quentin Grimes, Knicks
Mar 20, 2022; New York, New York, USA; Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) and New York Knicks guard Quentin Grimes (6) at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks‘ second-year wing Quentin Grimes had seen his trade value skyrocket in the past week.

Grimes has the chance to complete his mission of dominating the NBA Summer League with a ring and the MVP hardware. But whether he will continue his surge with the Knicks or Utah Jazz will be a long debate in the next few weeks.

Grimes reportedly sits atop the Jazz’s wish list in a potential Knicks package for three-time All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell. It’s not surprising that the Jazz are high on him after watching him stand out in the Las Vegas showcase.

Grimes, 22, came to Las Vegas with one goal.

“Really come out here and dominate,” he told New York Post after their first practice in Las Vegas last week. “I feel like I played well last year. Just coming in this year being a second-year guy, I know what to expect, I know how the games are. Just go out there and try to dominate every time offensively and defensively.”

Grimes backed that up with a dominant game on both ends of the floor, leading the Knicks to a 3-1 record and the highest plus-minus +11.8 in the tournament. The 6-foot-5 wing is one of the high-impact players in the summer showcase as the Knicks have outscored their opponents by 14 points every time he’s on the floor, tied for third overall in the tournament.

Averaging only 29.3 minutes per game, Grimes had been productive with 23.5 points (no. 4), 3.8 three-pointers made (no. 3), 4.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.3 steals. But his impact goes well beyond the stats sheet.

With each passing game in Las Vegas, Grimes proves he’s more than just a 3-and-D guy. He could be the main guy on a winning team down the road.

Grimes showed his playmaking chops and ball-handling skills that made him a lottery prospect before his fall from grace in Kansas. His redemptive arc from the University of Houston to New York — transforming into a promising two-way stud — has intrigued the Jazz brass. He is far from a finished product, but his ceiling as a leader and a high floor as a solid 3-and-D wing on a rookie deal makes his trade value soar even higher.

Before the tournament, the debate was whether Grimes should start over Evan Fournier next to Jalen Brunson in the Knicks backcourt next season. It has dramatically shifted to whether the Knicks should give him up as the headliner of the potential Mitchell package or keep him as part of their core.

On Sunday at 3 pm ET, Grimes can further boost his stock when the Knicks gun for the first ever NBA Summer League rings against the Portland Trail Blazers, the team that beat them earlier on the second night of a back-to-back schedule.

The Jazz will be a curious spectator again.

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