The New York Knicks held onto Quentin Grimes this summer in a potential trade for Donovan Mitchell, and that was likely done so because they believe in him.
So far, Grimes hasn’t shown a whole lot, and a big part of that could be his injury to start the year. Now that he’s healthy, he’s been struggling to find a role in the rotation. Interestingly enough, coach Tom Thibodeau has removed him from the rotation for the past two games, and the Knicks have now won both of those games.
It’s a steep fall from being considered the team’s best perimeter defender and a major holdup in a Mitchell trade to going to somebody who can’t even get minutes.
Despite not playing in the past two games, Thibodeau says there are no plans for him to be demoted to the G-League at the moment.
Grimes is Safe for Now
It sounds like Grimes isn’t at risk of being demoted just yet, although that might not be the best thing if he’s going to continue getting no minutes with the Knicks.
“I think him being here with us is the best thing right now,” Thibodeau said, as transcribed by the New York Post.
Grimes has been working his way back from injury, so some early struggles are expected, but not many fans expected to see him taken out of the rotation completely, especially since there aren’t many people who can step up to replace him. This has been made possible thanks to the emergence of Cam Reddish, but even he was a big question mark coming into the year.
The young guard understands this is all part of being a pro, and he appears to have taken the news in stride.
“Just trying to be supportive,” Grimes said of his new situation. “I know that [Tom Thibodeau’s] trying to do what he feels is the best for the team so we can go out there and win games.”
It’s probably just a coincidence the Knicks have won both games he’s been sitting, but it’s hard to ignore the wins have come against a pair of Western Conference powerhouses.
Grimes Still an Important Piece
Considering the fact Grimes was coveted by the Jazz in a possible trade, it would seem to indicate he holds some value around the league.
While that isn’t exactly showing itself yet with the Knicks, there’s still a sense he can blossom into something greater. As it stands right now, he boasts strong 3-and-D potential, provided he can get healthy and on the floor.
His rookie season saw him just average six points a game, but the potential of the 22-year-old becoming something greater is what the team is hoping for. He will likely never become a perennial All-Star, but if he could become a starter on the Knicks, that wouldn’t be all that bad for a late first-round pick.
The Knicks have had some success late in the draft as that’s where they found starting center Mitchell Robinson, somebody who signed an extension with the team before the season. Immanuel Quickley was the 25th pick in his draft and he’s become an important rotational piece for the team, so they will be hoping Grimes can do the same.