The New York Knicks are a bit banged up at the center position as they approach the start of the regular season.
As a result, rookie big man Jericho Sims, who was otherwise not projected to see a whole lot of action this year, is getting an extended look in the preseason and he’s proving he might deserve some real minutes once the season starts. With Mitchell Robinson still out and Nerlens Noel nursing a hamstring injury, his services might be needed.
The organization is very high on their young big man, and veteran point guard Derrick Rose has taken him under his wing and has tried to get him to become a bit more vocal.
In Wednesday’s matchup against the Detroit Pistons, Sims will most likely be getting another long look, so he’ll be looking to make the most of his opportunity.
Look For More of Sims
Jericho Sims is a very athletic big man, in a similar vein as fellow center Mitchell Robinson, so a lot of comparisons can be made there.
Obviously, Sims isn’t as gifted defensively as Robinson is, at least not yet, but if he keeps getting the reps in then he can get there.
At the end of the day, preseason doesn’t give a great barometer of what to expect from a player, but it has shown Sims has what it takes to develop into a key rotation piece.
Taj Gibson is a Thibodeau favorite, but he’s also 36 years old, so he’s much closer to the end of his career than he is to the beginning. It’s easy to imagine him retiring as a New York Knick, which would mean Sims could take his spot in the rotation.
Typcially, we wouldn’t be seeing Gibson getting much action either, but with the injuries to Noel and Robinson, he’s been thrust into a starting role.
What’s His Ceiling?
Once the Knicks get healthy, fans will likely be seeing Sims, a late second-round draft pick, spending the majority of his time with the Westchester Knicks since he signed a two-way contract with the team.
There, he’ll likely be spending his time coming into his own as a dominant shot blocker and establishing himself a force around the rim. In the preseason, he’s shown he can already be a strong rebounder after he hauled in 13 rebounds in Saturday’s game against the Wizards.
Derrick Rose thinks that he can get Sims some easy buckets too if he’s paying attention.
“I told him no matter what if I I got the ball, if I jump in the air, always pay attention to me before I get rid of the ball,” Rose said according to the New York Post. “Sometimes I may jump in the air as a fake to get a pass to him. I’ve told him always keep your eye on me so you can get easy baskets.”
All of the Knicks’ big men could use a boost to their offensive games, and to his credit, Noel looks to be adding another element to his.