Knicks Pursued Former Donte DiVincenzo Teammate, NBA Champion This Summer

Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks

Getty Tom Thibodeau, head coach of the New York Knicks.

Donte DiVincenzo wasn’t the only member of the 2021 Milwaukee Bucks championship team that the New York Knicks seemed to covet on the free agency market this summer, as an NBA insider recently revealed that one of his former teammates was also targeted by Leon Rose and company.

Per a July 28 report by The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Thanasis Antetokounmpo opted to re-sign with Milwaukee this offseason over inking a deal with the orange and blue.

“Antetokounmpo chose return to the Bucks over multiple options, including Knicks, sources said. Brothers Giannis and Thanasis, Brook and Robin Lopez all reunited in Milwaukee for next season,” Charania reported via Twitter.

Antetokounmpo, who was selected 51 overall back in the 2014 NBA Draft by the Knicks, spent his rookie season revolving in and out of the lineup for the club’s G League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks.

Since 2019, he has served as a member of the Bucks alongside his brother, Giannis, and just re-upped with the organization on a new contract extension.

Antetokounmpo boasts career averages of 2.7 points and 1.8 rebounds across 164 games played.

Knicks Urged to Bring Back Taj Gibson

As a result of the departure of Obi Toppin via trade with the Indiana Pacers earlier this summer, the Knicks now find themselves with a vacancy at the backup four spot behind All-Star Julius Randle.

While there have been a myriad of suggestions made regarding how the team could go about addressing this void, The Athletic’s Fred Katz recently suggested the idea of Leon Rose and company signing one of Tom Thibodeau’s favorite veterans, Taj Gibson.

“He’s one of Thibodeau’s most-loyal longtime liaisons. He has played for Thibodeau in all three of the coach’s stops (Chicago Bulls, Timberwolves and Knicks). Derrick Rose is already out the door after signing with the Memphis Grizzlies. Maybe Thibodeau wants another well-respected translator in the locker room. Knicks players already revere Gibson. He’s one of Robinson’s favorite all-time teammates. The 25-year-old center soaks up whatever advice Gibson has to provide. And if there is an emergency, and Gibson has to fill in, he can still knock down a corner 3 and play strong team defense,” Katz wrote.

Gibson spent three years with the Knicks from 2019 to 2022, sporting averages of 5.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, and just shy of a block per game on 57.7 percent shooting from the field.

In 2022-23, he served as a reserve for the Washington Wizards, seeing 9.8 minutes a night.

JJ Redick Sounds Off on Quentin Grimes’ Potential

During a  July 28 episode of “The Old Man & the Three,” podcast host and former NBA guard JJ Redick was seen hyping up Knicks youngster Quentin Grimes, deeming him as a player who could realistically take a major leap in 2023-24.

“Let’s assume the Knicks don’t make a trade. The guy that could potentially give them another five wins in the regular season and really really help them in the playoffs — I think as much as people talk about [Immanuel] Quickley, Quickley is awesome — is Quentin Grimes. Some improvement offensively. Some improvement in consistency in shooting the basketball. He’s highly competitive and highly energetic. He fits on that team. He fits on that roster. Quentin Grimes is another one. There you go, Knicks fans. There’s some positivity,” Redick said.

Grimes is coming off an impressive sophomore campaign with the Knicks where he posted career-best per-game averages of 11.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.1 assists on 46.8 percent shooting from the field and 38.6 percent shooting from deep while serving as a consistent starter within Tom Thibodeau’s rotation.

As a result of his efforts, he was selected to the NBA’s Rising Stars Challenge during the 2023 All-Star weekend and, this summer, he will be a member of the U.S. Select Team, which will train with Team USA as they prepare for the FIBA World Cup.

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