The New York Knicks looked to fill the gaps in their roster by hauling in talented prospects in the 2021 NBA Draft. However, their night didn’t go as planned as none of their initial targets fell to their lap at the 19th overall pick. In this specific post, we’re doing our New York Knicks 2021 NBA Draft grades, handing out info and scores for every pick.
They eventually shipped the said asset to the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for a protected future first-round pick. The Knicks didn’t stop there as they also traded their 21st overall selection to the Los Angeles Clippers in order to acquire the No. 25 pick in the draft along with a future second-round pick.
Seeing themselves at a comfortable spot, the Knicks also traded down and swapped their 32nd overall pick in exchange for both the 34th and 36th picks from the Philadelphia 76ers. New York had a busy evening but they are confident that the guys that they drafted can provide value for them further down the road.
Here are the draft grades for each of their selections in the recently-concluded proceedings:
New York Knicks 2021 NBA Draft Grades
Quentin Grimes: B+
The New York Knicks used their lone pick in the first round to select Houston wingman Quentin Grimes at No. 25. After an underwhelming rookie season with the Kansas Jayhawks, he eventually redeemed himself by emerging as a major contributor for the Cougars over the last two seasons.
In their 2020-21 campaign, Grimes averaged 17.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.4 steals through 30 appearances. He also played a huge role for the team as he helped them reach the NCAA Final Four where they got eliminated by the Baylor Bears. After averaging an impressive 40.3% clip from beyond the arc last year, the Knicks are expected to get a 3-and-D type of player in Grimes who can come off the bench and make an impact on both ends of the floor next season.
Second round New York Knicks 2021 NBA Draft Grades
Rokas Jokubaitis: B
New York began their second-round haul at No. 34 with the selection of Lithuanian talent Rokas Jokubaitis who previously played for BC Zalgiris in the EuroLeague. In his third stint with the team last season, the point guard normed 7.0 points, 1.7 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in 31 appearances.
Though he only averaged 20.9 minutes per game with the team, Jokubaitis was still able to showcase his potential while playing in a grown man’s league which eventually convinced the Knicks to draft him. He already saw action in three Summer League games with New York but is bound to play for FC Barcelona in Spain next season. Hopefully, the 20-year-old will be able to gain more experience and get better overseas as a stash pick in order to help the Knicks in the coming seasons.
Miles McBride: A
The New York Knicks did an excellent job as they got a steal with the 36th pick when they selected West Virginia playmaker Miles McBride who largely flew under the radar prior to the draft. He took a huge leap in his sophomore year last season as he notched 15.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 4.8 assists in 29 games played with the Mountaineers.
Aside from his scoring abilities and impressive shooting touch, McBride is also a menace on defense as he averaged 1.9 steals per game in 2020-21. Though the Ohio native might be a bit undersized at 6-foot-2, he is still expected to thrive in Tom Thibodeau’s system, especially with his relentless style of play moving forward.
Jericho Sims: B
Prior to the draft, Texas big man Jericho Sims turned heads and made rounds on social media with his 44.5-inch vertical leap. His jumping ability along with his impressive physical tools eventually convinced the New York Knicks to take a flier on him with the 58th pick in the second round.
As a fourth-year player for the Longhorns, Sims averaged 9.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks in 26 appearances last season. Those numbers don’t really jump off the board but he remains to be an intriguing prospect with a promising upside at the next level. He is expected to spend time with the Knicks’ G League affiliate to further polish his game and potentially serve as an energizer for the team at some point in the future.