Summer League presents an opportunity. An opportunity to play, impress, and get eyeballs on you that likely wouldn't always be there.
One player on the New York Knicks that took advantage of that last summer was Quentin Grimes. The 25th pick in the 2021 NBA draft was coming off a decent but quiet rookie season. He played in 46 games, averaging six points and 38.1 percent from three in 17 minutes a game.
Grimes played well in the 2021-22 Summer League alongside Obi Tobbin and Immanuel Quickley. He now was going to be the primary option on the 2022 Summer League roster and New York was looking for him to make a jump. Starting lineups for the upcoming season weren’t set and Grimes had a huge chance to showcase his game. He certainly was going to get his shots as we saw in the five-game sample.
Showcase his game is exactly what he did.
Summer Leagues games 2022:
The shooting guard opened up Vegas Summer League with a strong 24-point and eight-assist performance in 31 minutes. The Knicks would defeat the Golden State Warriors 101-88 and Grimes would finish the game as a +17. His eight assists were encouraging considering he only had over three in one game his rookie year when he had a career-high six.
New York would throttle the Chicago Bulls in game two 101-69 and Grimes scored an efficient 24 points with four three-pointers in a little under 23 minutes.
The Knicks would suffer their first loss in game three to the eventual champion Portland Trail Blazers. Grimes would score 24 points on 9/17 shooting but didn't shoot well from three (3/10) and also missed four shots (3/7). Despite the loss, it was still good to see Grimes continuing to find ways to put the ball in the basket.
The rising sophomore and New York bounced back in their next game, defeating the Orlando Magic 102-89. Grimes put up another 20-point performance, this time scoring 22 and tying for a team-high +16.
After a 3-1 record, the Knicks would find themselves in the championship game with a rematch against the Trail Blazers. This game was not Grimes’ finest moment but also shouldn't take away from what he did previously. It was a poor shooting game that saw him score 19 points on 5/16 field goals and 2/11 from three, just a cold shooting night.
Overall, the Knicks had to be pretty pleased with their 25th pick entering his second season who made first team All-Summer League.
NYK’s Quentin Grimes makes first team All-Summer League, NBA says: pic.twitter.com/zThcrRS0Q1— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) July 18, 2022
Grimes would start the season injured but when he came back, he commanded that starting shooting guard role all season. He played in 71 games, starting in 66 of them, and averaged 11.3 points in 30 minutes a game. His contributions as a spot scorer and also primary defender helped springboard him into a prominent position on a Knicks team that finished fifth in the Eastern Conference. He had a quiet 2023 playoffs but it was his first taste of playoff basketball while also playing hurt so it’s fair to give him a pass on that.
Grimes had a really nice second year in the NBA that showed he belonged and will be around for the foreseeable future. It all started with building his confidence in the summer.
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