Quentin Grimes, once considered to be an untouchable piece in any Donovan Mitchell trade, has seen sporadic playing time with the New York Knicks this season, and now he found himself not even checking in during the victory over the Jazz.
Grimes was a hang up in the Jazz deal for Mitchell, and it was part of the reason the former Jazz guard found his was to Cleveland where he has since blossomed into an MVP candidate early on. Looking back on it, it looks like a big whiff for the Knicks, especially with Grimes not even having a defined role with New York.
He explained the decision when asked about it.
Why Didn’t Grimes Play?
It’s just one game, but this could end up being a sign of things to come, especially since it led to a victory over the surprisingly solid Utah Jazz.
“We wanted to see what it would look like and it gave us, I thought, better rhythm,” Thibodeau said, as transcribed by the New York Post. “That’s why we did it.”
Grimes wasn’t the only person who didn’t play, but high-priced sharpshooter Evan Fournier found himself with no playing time as well. The former starter was demoted to the bench this season, but now he finds himself struggling to get minutes. It’s a big fall for the Knicks record holder in three-pointers made in a season to go from starting to no playing in such a short time.
It might not be a full-time thing, but there’s a sense changes like this can be here to stay if the team manages to find victories while doing it.
“Just the rhythm of it, you’re learning your team,” Thibodeau continued. “What works best? Are guys able to get in a rhythm? Those are the questions you ask. That’s why we did it.”
Is Fournier Out the Door?
Grimes being held back in Mitchell trades seems to indicate the team holds a lot of value in him, so shipping him out this early into the season would be a bold move.
Fournier, on the other hand, appears to be a more likely candidate to be moved if the team decides to explore avenues to make that happen. If there’s something teams around the league value, it’s shooting and Fournier can still provide that.
At this stage in his career, coming off the bench might be the best option for him and there are several options. The Los Angeles Lakers, a team who is quickly slipped out of contention, could use a shot in the arm and Fournier might be able to give that to them. The Lakers desperately needs shooters, but they don’t really have anything the Knicks would particularly want in a trade outside of draft picks.
Then again, if Fournier isn’t playing at all, wouldn’t it be better for the Knicks to at least get something for him instead of paying him to do nothing?