When the New York Knicks originally drafted Quentin Grimes with the 25th overall pick in the 2021 NBA draft, nobody knew exactly what the team would be getting with the Houston product. Grimes was known for his aggressive defense and athleticism, but expecting him to make a legitimate impact the season was always a stretch.
Nonetheless, Grimes has impressed as a rookie, especially against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night, scoring 12 points on 4 of 6 shooting from three-point range, earning a +21 +/-.
At just 21 years old, it is apparent that Grimes has a bright future with the Knicks, and head coach Tom Thibodeau has nothing but great things to say about his hand-picked rookie.
“I love Grimes. I love Grimes,” Thibodeau said last week. “He’s a fierce competitor, can shoot the ball, can guard multiple positions, and he’s only going to get better. You look at his shot profile, it was great in college. It’s been great in the pros. So that’s an important part of winning. Then to see the way he guards people, his competitiveness, that stands out.”
Clearly, Thibodeau has an admiration for Quentin, who takes smart shots and plays phenomenal defense for a young player in the league. This season, he hosts a 100.4 defensive rating, one of the better numbers on the team. While he’s only averaging 15.1 minutes per game, he is contributing 5.5 points, 1.5 rebounds, 0.5 steals, and shooting 40.5% from deep.
Thibs desperately needed a 3-and-D player to help provide continuity with the offense, and Grimes always seems to be moving to the right spots and sticking to his job efficiently.
Grimes is averaging 6.6 points, 1.5 assists, and shooting 41.5% from three-point range to start the new year. He’s also enjoying four additional minutes of play compared to December. On December 12 against the Milwaukee Bucks, Grimes earned one of his few starts this year, playing 40 minutes, posting 27 points, and hitting seven shots from range at a 53.8% success rate.
Grimes has provided flashes of brilliance during his first season in the NBA, and if the Knicks can continue to develop him and extract his talent, he could end up being one of the more important pieces down the road.