LAS VEGAS — Quentin Grimes has a simple goal for his stay in Las Vegas.
“Really come out here and dominate,” he said after the Knicks summer league team went through its first practice at Cox Pavilion. “I feel like I played well last year. Being a second year guy, I know what to expect. I also know how the games play. Just go out there and try to dominate every time offensively and defensively.”
Grimes, 22, is the senior statesman of the summerleague team. He is the most experienced player of the group that aims to make a name.
Grimes had an up-and-down rookie year, one he described as a “roller coaster.” Early on, the 2021 first-round pick (25th overall) was buried on coach Tom Thibodeau’s bench. He then got a surprise start on December 12th, scoring 27 points against Bucks. However, he soon tested positive for COVID-19 and was forced to return home.
He had a fluctuating playing time after his return. In mid-February, just as it appeared that the 6-foot-4 Grimes was finding his stride in February, after producing back-toback games of at minimum 19 points and logging 30-plus minutes for four consecutive contests in February, Grimes sustained a dislocated left kneecap, his first serious injury in his career. The rest of the season saw him play in six games, averaging 6.0 point on 40.4% shooting and 38.1 percent on 3s. He played 17.1 minutes across 46 games.
“It was my first year really ever coming off the bench,” Grimes said. “You got to earn Thibs’ trust, earn Thibs’ minutes. To get the opportunity you need to work hard. I had an accident and had to deal with adversity. I think it made me ready for whatever’s to come this year.”
Grimes rested for a few weeks after the season to ensure he was fully healthy. He is feeling great and eager to return to the court.
“It’s going to be a fun couple of weeks,” he said.
Grimes should be able to play a larger role next year. In a trade with Jalen Brunson’s Pistons, the Knicks lost their top 3-point shooter Alec Burks. Thibodeau has often raved about Grimes’ defense and court-spacing skills. With the $5.2 million exception for room mid-level players, the Knicks may add someone special. However, they will still need Grimes as a 3-and-3 contributor.
Summer league is first. Grimes has sky-high hopes for himself in Sin City, starting with Friday night’s opener against the Warriors.
“I think it’s really important because it’s a chance for you to go out and play,” he said. “I feel like everybody wants to play, everybody wants to get better. Summer league is a good opportunity to show the coaches, even though you won’t have as big a role on the main team, but this team you can go out there and be the main guy, make plays defensively, offensively, just do everything.”
He wants to be dominant.
Source: NY Post