Thursday, December 1, 2022

Coveted Knicks guard billed as ‘next big hope’ for franchise

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All summer, the New York Knicks were locked in trade talks with the Utah Jazz for star guard Donovan Mitchell.

At the heart of those conversations was second-grader Quentin Grimes, someone who spent the beginning of last season not even playing and ended up averaging six points per game. Still, this was a player jazz coveted, and the Knicks eventually decided to hold on to him.

In the end, Mitchell was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Knicks stuck with Grimes and their wealth of draft picks.

It’s clear that Grimes is someone the Knicks hold in high esteem, and he’s quickly making a name for himself within the organization. While he’s not ready for the starting spot just yet, there’s a feeling he could be there at some point in the upcoming season.

In a preview of the upcoming season, The Athletic Grimes’ John Hollinger names the team’s ‘next hope’ and those are some big words to live up to.

If all goes according to plan, Grimes could very well find himself in the most-improved-player debate in his sophomore year.

Grimes is set to get a heavier workload next season, and Hollinger sings his praises.

“Quentin Grimes is the next big hope after a solid rookie season, a big guard with a 3 let-it-fly mentality; Grimes was more accurate as a freshman than as a student, and if that wasn’t an outlier he has a future as a volume bomber,” he wrote. “If he can also defend good wingers, then New York has something.”

This is a player who definitely fits into Tom Thibodeau’s system as he is a strong defender who leaves everything on the field, play in and play out. While he’s currently struggling with an injury that might have allowed Evan Fournier to walk away with the starting spot, Grimes is expected to be a key player in the coming season.

The young guard pretty much conceded the starting place to Fournier, which was already expected at the start of the season.

“[Tom Thibodeau] said, “You have to come in and earn it,” and I kind of expected that when I went to training camp, but then I kind of got hurt. So that kind of derailed that,” Grimes said. “But I feel like he deserved it, he was the guy I had to bring in and beat and I had to prove myself. I just didn’t have the opportunity.”

His injury came at a difficult time but that doesn’t mean he will play a lesser role early in the season. If the Knicks find success in the coming year, something, as Hollinger notes, will be difficult, a big part of which will rest on Grimes.

Also important will be the development of the rest of the roster, including Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley and the newly expanded RJ Barrett.

The Knicks have what it takes to make an exciting roster for next season, but will it be enough to take them to the playoffs?

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