The New York Knicks have a strong roster of NBA rookies who are developing into eligible rotation players. Although Quentin Grimes doesn’t get as much attention as RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley, he is just as crucial to the team’s success.
Last season, first-round NBA Draft selection Grimes replaced the starting shooting guard. In 66 of his 71 appearances, he had a starring role, and his overall productivity increased again.
Grimes has been focusing on improving his game throughout the summer. As part of his plan, he spent two days in the Hamptons in August working out with former NBA sharpshooter J.J. Redick. Grimes expressed his gratitude for the chance, calling them two of his favorite offseason days.
Unfortunately, that output did decrease throughout the playoffs. His underwhelming performance was a result of two games he missed due to an ankle ailment. Despite this, the Knicks are still optimistic about his growth going into the 2023–24 season.
“How to set ’em up, how to come down, how to get even just two more feet of space cause that’ll open up more on my shot,” Grimes said. “…So just little things like sprinting all the way over to the deep corner instead of just maybe stopping at the break to get that extra bit of space. Because that’s the big part in the NBA: It’s not the big things. It’s the little things.”
Grimes concentrated on picking up the minor details from Redick in order to significantly improve his on-court performance. For the position he will be playing with the Knicks this season, moving without the ball and finding other ways to contribute without scoring are crucial.
He and the team’s attacking opportunities will increase if he can advance with the ball in his hands. Grimes spent time working on his skill set with Penny Hardaway, the current head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies and a former NBA player.
“Grimes said Hardaway helped him with “reading the floor better, coming off pick and rolls, making the right reads, attacking the basket, pull-up… transition threes. Being a primary ballhandler. Kind of getting that feel for when I get the rebound and push it all the way up court. Make a play for me and my teammates.”
With his growing skill set, the Houston product should feel more at ease on the floor. The coaching staff knows he is more than capable of doing the job, therefore he has to develop confidence in himself while playing.
Tom Thibodeau and Darren Erman want Grimes to be more combative in Year 3. With Jalen Brunson, RJ Barrett, and Julius Randle firmly established as the starting shooting guards, favorable circumstances will arise as a result of opponents concentrating most of their attention on that group.
“If (Barrett) drives, heavy driver, so if they collapse on him, he knows he can hit me if I’m shaking up, if I’m sliding to the corner. So I feel like our relationship is getting better,” Grimes said. “Julius, Jalen, they know. Like if Jalen’s driving, I can slide up, shake up, take a wing three, slide to the corner, stuff like that. These guys are slowly integrating (it) as we get to know each other’s game more as we go through practices.”
The Knicks’ offense finished last season as one of the NBA’s most effective thanks in large part to Grimes. He’s one of the team’s most dependable 3-point shooters, thus his spacing is crucial to their game plan.
The organization wants to see him develop his game, but he will still be relied upon to make shots from the outside. The Knicks would want to see Grimes become more aggressive in all areas of his offensive game because teams can never have enough 3-and-D wings. It would be foolish to bet on him taking that next step in his growth given the effort he has put in this summer.