The 2022-23 NBA season is now right around the corner, as the New York Knicks and all other 29 teams have officially reported for training camp.
This period is considered to be a great time for players, particularly those on the younger side, to make their presence felt and their names known in the hopes of carving out a significant spot for themselves within the regular season rotation
The Knicks, in particular, have a bevy of such talents who are looking to win over the team’s coaching staff with strong showings and, with this, earn larger roles within head coach Tom Thibodeau’s scheme.
Unfortunately, it seems as though one of these players in sophomore shooting guard Quentin Grimes started training camp off on the wrong foot (no pun intended), as Ian Begley of SNY reported on September 28 that during day two of practice, the University of Houston product was spotted on the sidelines sporting a walking boot on his left foot.
In a follow-up report on the situation, Begley would reveal that the ailment is considered “minor” and that his status moving forward is considered “day to day.”
Knicks Were Unwilling to Trade Grimes
During the highly public Donovan Mitchell trade negotiations that were held this summer between the New York Knicks and Utah Jazz, it was reported that while Leon Rose and company were willing to give up quite a haul for the perennial All-Star, one asset they were reluctant to include in an outbound package was Grimes.
Per an August 20 article by the New York Post’s Marc Berman, the Knickerbockers were “eager” to hold the guard out of any potential trade packages for Mitchell, with the report going as far as to say that they would be more willing to part ways with RJ Barrett instead.
“There is belief around the league Thibodeau would prefer to give up Barrett in a deal than shooting guard Quentin Grimes, who is coming off a solid rookie year, and a summer league in which he looked quicker and more sculpted. Grimes is a better defender and 3-point shooter than Barrett…Ainge is hot to acquire Grimes for his Jazz rebuilding plan,” Berman wrote.
Ultimately, neither Grimes nor Barrett wound up being shipped out of New York this summer, as Mitchell was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers on September 1.
Instead, Barrett ended up inking a fresh new contract extension with the Knicks worth up to $120 million over four seasons while Grimes has earned the organization’s admiration after showing flashes of being a sound two-way player during his rookie season, posting averages of 17.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.0 steals, and just shy of a block per 100 possessions.
Fournier ‘Front-Runner’ Over Grimes
Despite the pleas from the fanbase to thrust Quentin Grimes into the starting lineup this season, during media day on September 27, head coach Tom Thibodeau declared that Evan Fournier was the “front-runner” to slot in as the starting shooting guard for the Knicks.
“The thing is we need shooting,” Thibs said. “The one thing that I know is that with Jalen [Brunson], RJ [Barrett], [and] with Julius [Randle] we have to put shooting around them. Right? [Mitchell Robinson] will give us pressure on the rim, so that’s what will force a defense to collapse.
“Evan’s proven. I thought the second half of last year he played really well, so I think we have good depth at that position.”
During Fournier’s first season with the Knicks in 2021-22 he served as the starting shooting guard in 80 contests and posted per-game averages of 14.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 2.6 assists on 38.9% shooting from distance.
Along the way, the 29-year-old set the franchise’s single-season record for most three-pointers made with 241 and finished fourth in the association in the category.