The Knicks have made a recent habit out of striking gold with their late-round draft capital.
You know the most prominent examples: the Immanuel Quickleys, the Mitchell Robinsons. Could New York’s final pick of its 2021 draft be the next shining example?
While we’re a long way from determining that, Jericho Sims is off to a shining start. As the rest of his Knicks teammates mostly struggled during the team’s Summer League opener against Toronto on Sunday, Sims soared, going 6-for-6 from the field for 12 points while adding eight rebounds.
Hours earlier, the 58th overall pick in the draft and Texas product signed a two-way contract with the Knicks, meaning he can play a maximum of 50 NBA games. But with more outings like Sunday’s, the Knicks could opt to tear up Sims’ two-way contract, which is designed for a player to split time in the G-League, as Knicks beat writer Marc Berman noted in a piece for the New York Post.
“I was content,’’ Sims said of his debut performance in a Knicks uniform, per Berman. “But it’s more about what we’re doing as a team.’’
The Knicks lost their Summer League opener 89-79, but Sims’ alley-oop dunk on a pass from Immanuel Quickley at least gave New York fans a reason to cheer in the fourth quarter.
“I knew something like that was going to come,’’ Sims said. “They can’t guard us both.’’
Knicks Throw High Praise at Sims
The 22-year-old Sims, a native of Minneapolis, said “that’s what they had planned for me” when asked about his two-way contract, per Berman. And as far as his role as a defensive specialist, Sims added: “I can do other things, but [rim-runner] is what they want me to do right now.’’
Meanwhile, the Knicks were quick to praise Sims after his sparkling debut.
“Jericho, man, does he jump really high,’’ second-year forward Obi Toppin said, per Berman. “Jericho is a sponge and loves to learn and get better. He’s going to be a really good player.’’
After being signed to a two-way contract, Sims is not currently on the 15-man roster. His role going forward is not yet clear.
“Jericho has the tools that can help us during the course of the year,’’ Knicks summer league coach Dice Yoshimoto said, according to Berman. “He’s put a lot of time in the gym, has done a great job at training camp.’’
Stefan Bondy, the Knicks beat writer for the New York Daily News, added this about Sims’ stock: “Sims wowed scouts with the third-highest vertical in the history of the NBA combine, but still nearly slipped out of the draft before the Knicks pounced. It was a disappointing position for Sims, who believed his draft range was 25 to 40.”
Quickley Rebounds Well After Slow Opener
Quickley had 15 points but shot only 5-of-17 from the field in New York’s Summer League opener on Sunday. But on Monday, Quickley rebounded well, shooting 11-for-21 from the floor for 32 points to lead the Knicks to a 94-86 win over the Indiana Pacers. Quickley also added eight assists.
Quickley, the second-year guard, is looking to follow up a stellar rookie season that saw the Kentucky product average 11.4 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.