quentin grimes new york knicks
Mandatory Credit: Doug McSchooler-USA TODAY Sports

First-round draft pick Quentin Grimes believes his fit with the New York Knicks is a “match made in heaven.”

Danny Small

Draft night was a rollercoaster for anyone locked in on the New York Knicks. First, they traded pick No. 19 for a future first-rounder. Next, they flipped the 21st pick for the 25th and a future second-rounder from the Clippers.

However, they stayed put at 25 and drafted Quentin Grimes out of Houston. The initial reaction from experts and analysts was that the Knicks reached for Grimes. But remember, that was the reception to the Immanuel Quickley pick in 2021.

Although he doesn’t love the 3-and-D label, it’s an accurate archetype for Grimes right now. He can knock down threes and play strong, team-oriented defense.

If he can do that, the Knicks will consider this pick a smashing success. If he can add to his game with more playmaking and self-creation, he could be even better than anyone expects.

“Thibs guy” is an overused trope at this point, but if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. Grimes fits the mold of a Tom Thibodeau player and he’s willing to embrace that hard-nosed coaching style.

He has experience with fiery, demanding coaches. He played for Bill Self at Kansas during his freshman year before transferring to Houston to develop under Kelvin Sampson.

“I know Coach Thibs is a tough, hard-nosed coach and I come from Coach Sampson who is also a tough, hard-nosed coach,” Grimes told the media in his introductory press conference. “[We] would kind of be like a match made in heaven. He’s gonna be on you, but they’re building something special in New York and I definitely want to be a part of it.”

Now read what Grimes said about Sampson prior to the draft.

“I feel like I went to the right situation with [Houston] coach [Kelvin] Sampson,” Grimes said via Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “He prepares you for life. He’s a super tough coach on you. He’s going to hold you accountable every day …

“Coming in with that mindset every day to come in here and play as hard as I can, it really kind of lets you be able to play freely and play your game.”

By linking up with the Knicks, Grimes is also joining a former teammate, kind of. Grimes and RJ Barrett were part of the same high school class and played together at the Jordan Brand Classic.

Barrett, along with Quickley, was one of the first Knicks to reach out to Grimes after he heard his name called.

“Now that we get a chance to be teammates for a whole year is gonna be really fun for Knicks fans,” Grimes said.

Barrett’s message to Grimes was simple: “Let’s get ready to go to work.”