The Knicks may have found a low-key veteran with upside

knicks, DaQuan Jeffries
Dec 20, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Westchester Knicks guard/forward DaQuan Jeffries (5) reacts after dunking the ball against the Memphis Hustle during the second half at Mandalay Bay Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports

Despite their 110-101 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers in the first Summer League game on Saturday, the New York Knicks found a glimmer of hope in the performance of one of their players. Amidst a number of inconsistent performances, shooting guard DaQuan Jeffries emerged as a notable standout.

Having played four NBA seasons with Sacramento, Houston, and Memphis, Jeffries did not feature in the 2022-23 season. However, at 25 years old, he seems to be an overqualified player for the G-League and the Summer League.

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DaQuan Jeffries: A Contender for a Roster Spot?

The 6-foot-5, 230-pound guard might push for a roster spot this year as a two-way player, given his defensive prowess and scoring abilities.

Jeffries‘ best season was the 2020-21 season, when he was 23, with the Houston Rockets. Despite only playing 13 games, he averaged 4.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.2 assists. Although not recognized for his three-point shooting, Jeffries demonstrated solid field and two-point range, aligning well with the Knicks’ preferred playing style.

A Stellar Performance Against the 76ers

In Saturday’s loss to the 76ers, Jeffries posted an impressive 20 points in just 21 minutes, shooting 7–14 from the field, including 1-3 from beyond the arc. He also sank all five of his free throw attempts, recording four total rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and only two turnovers.

Jeffries could be a reliable asset as a potential bench player if the team encounters injuries or issues. His previous NBA experience and evident dominance over less-developed players indicate he deserves an NBA roster spot, even if primarily for his defensive contributions.

The Challenges Ahead: Overcoming a Guard-Heavy Knicks Team

The main obstacle is that the Knicks already have an excess of guards on their team. If Jeffries could fill a forward role, he might get some play time or, at least, serve a versatile function. We will continue to watch his performance during the Summer League to assess his consistency and if he could earn a place on the team.