With the NBA Draft looming on June 23, the New York Knicks continue to do their due diligence, putting a bunch of prospects through their paces at the Tarrytown facility. On Monday, Ian Begley retweeted the following:
Memphis’ Lester Quinones will be working out with the New York Knicks on Tuesday and the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, a source told @Stockrisers. The Brentwood, NY native returns home for two big workouts.— Jake (@jakeweingarten) June 6, 2022
Worked out with Orlando, Sacramento, Golden State, Lakers.
Who’s that, you ask? Lester Quiñones is a 6’5”, 205lbs wing who played for Memphis over the last three years. For the 2021-22 season, the 21-year-old ranked third on the Tigers with 10 points per game, shot 45% from the field, and hit 39% from deep on 4.3 attempts. He appeared in all 33 games, started 30, and averaged 27 minutes on the floor.
Quiñones averaged only 1.3 assists, and surely he could have pitched a few more lobs to Jalen Duren. He has not yet distinguished himself as a playmaker and showed average ball-handling skills. His defensive chops are fair, and he committed an average of 1.2 thefts and only 1.9 personal fouls.
While it would be feel-goody to have the Brentwood, NY native make the team, I don’t see the fit. He’s a respectable shooter, but the Knicks have a greater need at point guard, which Quiñones is not.
Some project him to be drafted in the second round, if at all. There’s been interest from Orlando, Sacramento, Golden State, and the Lakers, but if this basketball thing fizzles for Lester, he has an apparel line to support him.
June 7th pre order your highly anticipated Effortles shorts on the In-House website! The link will be in my bio for you to get a pair. These are Multi-Purpose and unisex! Use them as swimming trunks, workout shorts or if you have some style, rock them on the fashionable side. pic.twitter.com/hfv4f4Hsfp— Lester Quinones (@Effort_les) June 2, 2022
Other young players brought to Tarrytown for an evaluation this week include Dyson Daniels (G-League’s Ignite), Malaki Branham (Ohio State), and Ty Ty Washington (Kentucky). Last week, the Knicks evaluated Jimmy Boeheim (Syracuse), Andrew Jones (Texas), Tyson Eitenne (Wichita State), Orlando Robinson (Fresno State), and others.
Stefan Bondy reported that the 3-on-3 scrimmaging was competitive on Monday, and that World Wide Wes (AKA William Sydney Wesley) treated recruits to a Sunday night preliminary dinner. Betcha it wasn’t Taco Bell!
Dyson Daniels and Malaki Branham also worked out Knicks.— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) June 6, 2022
With Ty Ty Washington, Knicks had three potential lottery picks scrimmaging in 3-on-3 setting.
Branham said it got competitive.
"If I'm a lottery guy, and the next guy's a lottery guy, I'm going at his head."
Washington, Daniels, Branham, and three others kept the Knicks’ Executive Vice President company while they dined and watched the NBA Finals. Wes has yet to invite me anywhere, despite improvements to my jump shot.
The Australian Daniels rates high on my wish list this draft season, maybe even tops. I profiled him here.
Branham is a talented freshman guard and the 2021-22 Big Ten Rookie of the Year. He averaged 13.7 points, 3.6 boards, and two assists across 32 games this season. The 19-year-old shot 42% from deep but attempted only 2.8 per game. Still, this one-and-done from Columbus is capable of sporadic flame-throwing, with two games of over 30 points, including a 35-point banger against Nebraska.
Kevin O’Connor ranks Malaki 22nd on his draft board at The Ringer. Branham’s defense needs work, though, and he profiles similarly to Quiñones: good range, adequate at playmaking and ball handling, does well in off-ball motion plays, etc. I don’t see either one becoming a Knick unless it’s for the Westchester club.
If you want TyTy talk, I covered him here. If you want a free meal from World Wide Wes, practice your free throws. Peace til next time.