After entering Thursday night’s NBA Draft with four picks, including selections No. 19 and 21 in the first round, the Knicks sat back and played the long game by trading out of both spots and moving back to No. 25, where they chose guard Quentin Grimes from Houston. In exchange for moving the 19th pick to Charlotte, New York will receive a future first-round pick, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, while the move from No. 21 to No. 25 netted the Knicks a future second-rounder.
In Grimes, New York is landing a two-way shooting guard who led Houston to the Final Four last season while averaging 17.8 points per game. After three years of college basketball, including a freshman season spent at Kansas, Grimes should be able to pair with New York’s returning nucleus to contribute early for a franchise coming off a breakthrough 41-31 campaign.
The Knicks stayed active on the trade market late into the night as they traded down from pick No. 32 with Oklahoma City in exchange for picks No. 34 and 36, where they selected Lithuanian guard Rokas Jokubaitis and West Virginia point guard Miles McBride before capping their night by taking Texas big man Jericho Sims at No. 58.
No. 25 overall (Quentin Grimes)No. 34 overall (Rokas Jokubaitis)No. 36 overall (Miles McBride)No. 58 overall (Jericho Sims)
Grimes: The Knicks shot 39.2% from long-range last season, which was the third-best mark in the NBA. But they may lose a couple of their top sharpshooters in Reggie Bullock and Alec Burks as free agents. Grimes should be able to help fill the gap after he hit 40.3% of his treys on 8.1 attempts per game for Houston last season. His long-term star potential may be limited by pedestrian athleticism, but Grimes is a high-floor type of player who should be able to contribute right away for a team expecting to compete.
Jokubaitis: There is some chatter that Jokubatis could stay overseas, and with the Knicks also taking back court players Grimes and McBride in this draft, that might make sense. Jokubatis is still just 20 and needs to shore up his physique and off-hand finishing before he’s ready for the physicality of the NBA. But there’s plenty of upside here for New York as Jokubaitis is a crafty pick-and-roll ballhandler with a promising outside shot.
McBride: New York scored some nice value here in McBride, who finished at No. 27 on the CBS Sports NBA Draft Big Board. Though just 6-foot-2, McBride is a dogged defender and improving 3-point shooter who can probably eat some minutes at point guard right away as the engine of a second unit.
Sims: A 6-10 center, Sims is a great defender and rebounder with a limited offensive game. If that sounds familiar to Knicks fans, it’s because he bears similarities to Mitchell Robinson.