Leon Rose and this New York Knicks front office have started off their regime in the Big Apple with near-perfect hits across two different NBA Drafts, or so it seems thus far.
After drafting Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin last year, who each played contributing roles in the team’s 2021 playoff run, there’s a new excitement surrounding each of their picks from the 2021 class.
In the first round of this year’s draft, New York took Houston guard Quentin Grimes with the 25th overall pick.
Then they followed that up with a pair of strong picks at 34th and 36th, taking Lithuanian guard Rokas Jokubaitis and West Virginia product Miles McBride.
The latter of those two is finding his way into the households of Knicks fans all across the world after his latest summer-league performance.
McBride scored 22 points on a perfect six-of-six from three, grabbed seven rebounds, and dished five assists in 28 minutes of play off the bench.
But it’s how the rookie followed up the exhibition performance that’s got fans even more excited for his upcoming NBA career.
When asked about Kemba Walker, the newest point guard addition in New York, he displayed a clear excitement (via Empire Sports Media) for playing with a four-time All-Star:
I was really excited. I mean, you got to play with guys like Kemba, Julius (Randle), Derrick Rose. Those are the guys I grew up watching. To get to be alongside them is a dream come true.
And after Wednesday night’s performance, it wouldn’t be surprising to hear the New York Knicks veterans are excited to play with him, too.
McBride: ‘I’ve Watched A Lot of Kemba Film’
Miles McBride, after scoring 22 points in the New York Knicks’ summer-league win over the Toronto Raptors, cited defense (via Yahoo!Sports) as one of his top motivators going into the season:
I feel like this is a league about creating opportunities, and I feel like one of my strengths is defense, so I feel like that’s the best way I’m going to create more opportunities for myself.
He averaged 1.9 steals per game last season with the West Virginia Mountaineers.
But while he may be averaging just one steal thus far in the Summer League, McBride’s made a statement with his aggressive play on that end of the ball.
The 20-year old told reporters after the game that he was very familiar (via Empire Sports Media) with newest Knicks point guard Kemba Walker:
He’s a killer from the midrange and I feel like that’s one of the things I’m very good at as well so, I’ve watched a lot of Kemba films.
He was also spotted after the game by The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor at a restaurant, still in his game-worn jersey.
It seems Miles McBride’s commitment to the New York Knicks may transcend the basketball court.
McBride Walking Into Guard-Heavy Rotation
As fun as the Miles-McBride, Summer League experience has already been for New York Knicks fans, the unavoidable truth is that he’ll be playing from behind to start the 2021-2022 season.
The 20-year old projects as a combo guard, and he played off ball next to Immanuel Quickley in their Wednesday night win.
But when the season starts, newly-arrived Kemba Walker is expected to take the starting point guard spot, and Derrick Rose is slated to be his backup.
Evan Fournier will start in the backcourt as well, meaning Quickley will reprise his role from last season playing next to the 2011 MVP in an off-ball role.
So where does that leave McBride? Likely out of a significant role, barring any health concerns for Rose and Walker.
But, it appears that Miles McBride is determined to stay ready, and when called upon, provide some defensive tenacity.
Perhaps even some three-point shooting as well, if Wednesday night’s performance is any indicator.