Leon Rose was wheeling and dealing during the 2021 NBA Draft for the New York Knicks. Tom Thibodeau’s club entered the draft with four draft picks and left with four selections but only one came at a slot they entered the draft with.
The Knicks used the No. 34 pick that they acquired from the Oklahoma City Thunder to select Rokas Jokubaitis. The 6-foot-4 point guard is currently under contract with FC Barcelona over in Europe. However, he has plans to join New York at some point in time and he discussed that earlier on Friday.
Rokas Jokubaitis says "it depends on my performance" when he comes to the NBA. Barcelona gave him permission to play 3 Summer League games for Knicks. Says there's an "option" to play in NBA this season.
"Right now the plans are to go to Europe but you never know in basketball."
— Mike Vorkunov (@MikeVorkunov) August 6, 2021
It’s interesting to note how much emphasis Jokubaitis is putting on the three summer league games he will play in but it makes complete sense. For most, summer league is a chance to put your skillset on display for the team that drafted you or scooped you up outside of the draft. For Jokubaitis the stakes are a bit higher as it could help determine whether he goes back to Europe for another year or tries to stick around with the Knicks right from the get go.
Rokas Jokubaitis on potentially playing in the NBA:
"I cannot tell you now when it will be, but I'm looking forward to playing as good as I can. After Summer League, we will see how it will happen" pic.twitter.com/aiqsnnBH52
— Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) August 6, 2021
The Knicks entered the offseason with not much on the shelf for point guard. In the early stages of free agency they have resigned Derrick Rose and Alec Burks while also flying under the radar to ink up Kemba Walker who was bought out by the Thunder. All of a sudden, the point guard room is crowded for the Knicks.
A best guess is Jokubaitis ends up back in Europe for at least one more season. But as he says, “You never know in basketball.”