NBA Draft

2021 NBA Draft: New York Knicks address shooting needs and build for future

The New York Knicks entered tonight with multiple first-round picks in the 2021 NBA Draft. They possessed their own pick (19th overall) and the 21st overall via the Dallas Mavericks. After overachieving last season and making the playoffs as the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference, the franchise is looking to continue to build off last season’s success.

Scoring was an issue for the Knicks last season, ranking 22nd in the league with a 110.2 offensive rating. Perimeter scoring, in particular, was an issue for most of the season. The franchise finished last season as the third-most efficient team from long range but ranked 27th in attempts per game (30) and 21st in 3-pointers made per game (11.8). Combine that with the fact that Derrick Rose, Alec Burks, and Reggie Bullock are free agents, and you will understand just how important adding shot creators and perimeter scoring this offseason is for the Knicks.

The New York Knicks made multiple picks to address their shooting concerns and look to the future in Thursday’s NBA draft.

In a surprising move, the Knicks traded the 19th pick to the Charlotte Hornets for a future first-round pick, just as it was their turn to make a selection. If that didn’t shock you, just as the Knicks were on the clock to make a selection at 21, they executed a trade with the LA Clippers to move back to 25 and also got a future draft pick in that deal as well.

With the 25th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, the New York Knicks drafted proficient shooter Quentin Grimes out of the University of Houston.

In Quentin Grimes, the Knicks are getting a talented shooter who can thrive playing on and off the ball. He can create his own shot, and he moves well without the ball, finding cutting lanes and relocating behind the arc for a spot-up 3-pointer. He shot 40.3 percent from behind the arc and shot 42.3 percent on 3-pointers when shooting off the dribble. He averaged 17.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.4 steals per game with shooting splits of .406/.403/.788.

He’s a tough, gutsy defender with a high motor and excellent footwork.  He does a good job keeping his matchup in front of him and contesting shots without fouling. Grimes isn’t very athletic, but he’s a solid rebounder for his size and he possesses the physical tools along with the I.Q. to be a lockdown wing defender in Tom Thibodeau’s system.

By the end of the first round, the Knicks got multiple future assets and a player that addresses their need for shooting and fits perfectly with what they’re building in Madison Square Garden. We’re only halfway through the night but so far, so good.

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