The Knicks head into Summer League with many unanswered questions, and there’s several young players looking to prove their worth ahead of the coming NBA season.
New York fans will be particularly interested in the development of shooting guard Quentin Grimes, center Jericho Sims and point guard Miles McBride, who have each shown significant promise as potential role players for the team from Madison Square Garden.
Grimes, who came to the Knicks as the 25th pick in the 2021 NBA draft, before being traded from the Clippers to New York, averaged 6 points, 1 assist and 2 rebounds for the team last season while playing 17.1 minutes per game.
While his numbers have been relatively unimpressive, he showed flashes of talent that the Knicks would be foolish to ignore. The 22-year-old shooting guard shot a respectable 38.1% from beyond the arc, and 40.04% from the field, while holding his own as a defender.
As for his opportunity in Summer League, Grimes said he was looking to “dominate” his competition, and prove his worth in blue and orange.
“Really come out here and dominate,” he said. “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.”
Sims, a 23-year-old undersized center at 6’9”, came to Madison Square Garden as a second-round pick in the 2021 draft, and has spent time on the Knicks’ bench, along with their G-League affiliate in Westchester.
He appeared in 41 games and averaged 13.5 minutes per contest, while recording less-than-stellar numbers — though he proved that he could develop into a solid two-way player in the modern NBA defined by positionless basketball.
The Texas native played for the University of Texas Longhorns in college, and signed a two-way contract with Leon Rose and the Knicks’ front office in the offseason of 2021.
He will now find himself behind Mitchell Robinson, who recently re-signed with the Knicks, and Taj Gibson — though he should be able to carve out some playing time in Tom Thibodeau’s lineup as a change-of-pace player off the bench.
At 21 years old, McBride is an undersized guard, standing just 6’1”, but he is a solid ball handler, and plays bigger than he appears.
Last season, McBride found himself behind a logjam of point guards made up of Derrick Rose, Kemba Walker and Immanuel Quickley. This season will also not be favorable to the youngster, as the team signed Jalen Brunson in free agency, while retaining Rose and Quickley (for now), so his time on the court will likely not grow from the 9.3 minutes per game he saw last year, but Summer League will be a chance for the ball handler to prove himself — and perhaps impress Thibodeau enough to get some minutes in the big leagues.
The Knicks entered the 2022 NBA Draft with the 11th overall pick, but ultimately traded the pick away for future assets — disappointing fans looking to add a new youngster to the roster. Still, they managed to bring Montero aboard in the second round, by making Montero the first-ever prospect selected from the Overtime Elite league. The 19-year-old guard from the Dominican Republic needs to improve as a shooter, but Summer League will give the the opportunity to shine as a passer who can get the the rim with ease. In the Overtime Elite League, Montero averaged 16.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game, and comes to the Knicks as a solid 6’2″ guard prospect who has a solid work ethic, and can possibly carve out a role for himself on the team.
Knicks Summer League Roster
In addition to Grimes, Sims and McBride, the Knicks will also host a number of other young players this offseason in Las Vegas:
- Quentin Grimes, guard
- Jericho Sims, center
- Miles McBride, guard
- Jean Montero, guard
- Trevor Keels, guard
- D’Shawn Schwartz, forward
- DaQuan Jeffries, forward
- Jahvon Blair, guard
- Micah Potter, forward
- M.J. Walker, guard
- Aamir Simms, center
- Vince Edwards, forward
- Quinton Rose, forward
- Garrison Brooks, center
- Feron Hunt, forward