quentin grimes new york knicks
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The New York Knicks traded back to No. 25 to pick Quentin Grimes. How will he fit in as a rookie?

Quentin Grimes is the latest New York Knicks first-round draft pick and, if we’re being honest, isn’t who most fans expected.

Grimes’ path to the Knicks was certainly unusual too. New York owned the 19th and 21st picks in the first round, yet traded both. The No. 19 went to the Charlotte Hornets for a future first-round pick, and No. 21 was swapped with the Los Angeles Clippers’ pick at No. 25.

Cut to Grimes, a long and lean guard with some defensive upside and a deadly three-point shot. He won’t run the point, so his immediate future is probably as a wing or backup guard. Yet, Grimes has lots of fans, namely ESPN analyst Jay Bilas.

“He can play,” Bilas said. “And he’s tough.”

Let’s get to know Quentin Grimes just a little bit better.

Deadeye shooter

If there’s one thing Grimes can do, it’s shoot. He made 40.3% of his threes last season and also posted 17.8 points per game. He only shot 40.6% from the field, but had a true shooting percentage (TS%) of 55.8%.

This immediately helps the Knicks on offense. They own Reggie Bullock’s Bird rights and could also re-sign Derrick Rose, but going younger with Grimes is also an option. He could immediately slot into a shooter’s role alongside Immanuel Quickley.

Grimes also gives New York flexibility in terms of Alec Burks, who was a great swingman off the bench last season.

But what about defense?

Yet, the New York Knicks are coached by Tom Thibodeau. This means once training camp starts, Quentin Grimes will hit the ground running. Thibs holds his players to a high standard and expects nothing but the best from them, especially on defense.

It doesn’t reflect in his stat sheet, but Grimes has length at 6-foot-5, 205 pounds. He posted a 2.9 defensive box plus/minus (DBPM) at Houston last year and really upped his efforts on D playing for Kelvin Sampson.

This means, at least early on, fans should expect Quentin Grimes to be a three-and-D for the New York Knicks. He’s never been one to create his own offense, nor is he a facilitator. He’s a 2-guard who can shoot and play defense, an ideal option off the bench for any NBA team.

On the Knicks, he’s someone Thibodeau can develop while also offering potentially significant minutes.

Oh, and let’s not forget all the heads he turned at the NBA Scouting Combine.

Final thoughts

It was yet another unconventional NBA Draft for the New York Knicks but on the whole a good night. Grimes fills an immediate need off the bench and will cushion Burks’ likely departure in free agency, and perhaps Rose’s too.

He can shoot, defend, and has the potential to keep improving. In a New York minute, Grimes could prove to be a special prospect indeed.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.