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Knicks pick up Quentin Grimes’ team option. Is he the Chosen Guard?

Are the Knicks betting on Grimes’ ceiling instead of Quickley’s floor? Who knows!?

Update: The New York Knicks have officially picked up Quentin Grimes' team option for the 2024/25 season, the franchise announced on Monday, Oct. 30.

“One game at a time,” Quentin Grimes said after the Knicks lost their season-opening matchup against the Boston Celtics 108-104 inside Madison Square Garden on Wednesday. “You can’t look too far.”

Grimes must be keeping it easy by going step by step, game by game with his approach to the season, but the Knicks as a franchise are working at an entirely different pace. Cue the news popping up on Thursday, courtesy of SNY’s Ian Begley’s scoop.

According to the beat reporter, the New York Knicks will (obviously) pick Grimes’ team option for next season so he stays with the Knicks for the full 2024-25 campaign while playing under his rookie deal.

Grimes, a member of the 2021 draft class, is entering his fourth season of professional play this year. The Knicks acquired him on draft night by completing a trade in which New York sent no. 21 pick Keon Johnson to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for the no. 25 pick, which they used on the former Houston Cougars standout.

Through his first three seasons in the Association, Grimes has averaged 9.2 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game while keeping up 45.1/38.4/77.8 shooting splits on 7.2 field-goal attempts and 5.1 three-point attempts.

Grimes is coming off scoring 11 points against the Celtics in the opener a few days ago, hoisting seven field goals and bagging four of them to go with a missed freebie and a 3-of-6 night from beyond the arc. He also pulled down a rebound while committing a couple of personal fouls and no turnovers.

According to the NBA’s rookie-scale financial setup, Grimes will earn nearly $4.3 million next season before he becomes eligible for an extension next October... or turns into a 2025 restricted free agent. Sounds familiar?

That’s because yes, it is familiar. Grimes is entering the same situation Immanuel Quickley and the Knicks just navigated earlier this month, with IQ playing this season under his rookie-scale contract and having secured no extension on Monday’s deadline, thus turning into a free agent next summer.

No matter what happens next, and unless Grimes gets traded away between now and October 2024, expect us to be regurgitating the content we’ve put out for the last couple of weeks, only related to Grimes’s future with the Knicks instead of Quick’s.

I am of the opinion that the Knicks didn’t want to go wild with an extension of Quickley’s contract simply because of a roster-numbers game. New York must think Grimes has a higher ceiling than Quickley and that he also fits the current/near-future roster better as a two-guard next to Jalen Brunson. The roster is clogged with a plethora of guards, so it’s reasonable to expect some folks to pack their bags at some point, emotionally hurting or not.

The fact that Quickley is coming off a Sixth Man of the Year-level campaign might have also factored into the decision if the Knicks plan to pull off a monster trade before next July.

That’s simply because IQ is seen as a better player by most franchises now than Grimes is, as keeping Quickley’s salary down to around $4 million is much more manageable to trade away (paired with Evan Fournier’s hefty sum or something of the like) than doing so under the numbers his new deal would have featured, poison-pill problems included.

Following the loss against Boston, Grimes said “Knowing my role on the team, I gotta figure out certain places I can space on the court so [teammates] can see me.” The question was related to the lack of opportunities and touches he got on Wednesday, not hoisting a single field-goal attempt through the first quarter of the game. His second shot came with two minutes left in the first half.

“It don’t take much time to get my shot off, so I know if I get a little bit of space, I can get it off and knock it down,” Grimes added. “It’s just [taking] what the defense gives me.”

Grimes is obviously behind Quickley at this point throughout their pro careers. They have averaged virtually the same minutes per game but Grimes has appeared in 118 games compared to Quickley’s 224.

Quickley edges Grimes in points, rebounds, and dimes per game, but Grimes is better on the defensive front, the more efficient and effective shooter all ranges considered, and he’s yet to feature as prominently as Quickley in terms of usage—IQ has been stuck in the second unit but he’s always led it.

Picking Grimes’ pick option was the easy decision and as Ian Begley put it, “a formality.” But what about not extending IQ and offering the dough to QG next fall? What are your thoughts about that approach? Will it work or not? I want that answer to be a resounding YES, but this surely is looking like a bold bet by the Knicks.

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