Can Jericho Sims become the NY Knicks starting center of the future?

NY Knicks, Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley, Jericho Sims, Quentin Grimes, Miles McBride (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
NY Knicks, Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley, Jericho Sims, Quentin Grimes, Miles McBride (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /

Rookie center Jericho Sims has been impressing many New York Knicks fans as of late. The 23-year-old has gotten more minutes recently, and he hasn’t disappointed during the increased time on the floor. The 58th overall pick of the 2021 NBA Draft is making a case that he can one day become New York’s starting center.

The first-year center is a freak athlete with incredible size. His ability to grab rebounds and finish at the rim with ease are of the many reasons NY Knicks fans adore their young center.

Sims has shown that he has much more raw athleticism than any of the other Knicks centers, including current starter Mitchell Robinson. When the young center grabs rebounds, he makes it look effortless compared to the others on the roster.

He utilizes his size much more effectively on the defensive side of the floor, too. Sims’ athleticism has even caught the eye of some of his teammates.

This past Sunday during the Knicks most recent game against the Brooklyn Nets, Sims logged a career-high 23 minutes, during which he notched 10 total rebounds, didn’t miss a field goal, recorded a block, and finished with a +20 plus/minus.

When the athletic center gets time on the court, he’s a rebounding machine. For example, last season Robinson averaged 10.6 rebounds per 36 minutes, whereas Sims has so far averaged 11.8 rebounds per 36 minutes this season. Sims is also in his rookie year, so we can assume those numbers can easily increase in his upcoming seasons.

Not only has he shown off his athleticism on the defensive end, but Sims has also shown much upside on the offensive side. He has been making a case against Obi Toppin as the Knicks best dunker since the NBA Summer League. When Sims takes flight for a dunk it shakes the whole arena. The rookie often gets easy finishes in the paint using his size, as he’s currently making 72.7% of his field goals this season.

Can Jericho Sims become the starting center for the Knicks in the future?

This upcoming offseason the Knicks need to decide whether or not to bring back Robinson. If they can bring him back for the right price, then it could be a good idea. It would also allow Sims more time to develop as a backup, in addition to being a very good insurance option in case the deal were to not pan out.

Robinson is rumored to likely walk away from the Knicks this upcoming offseason in free agency. Inserting Sims into the starting five next season wouldn’t be ideal this early in his career, but it also wouldn’t be the worst thing if the Knicks can put a few more good pieces around him.

The 23-year-old rookie can most certainly become the Knicks starting center in the next few seasons, even if it isn’t as early as 2022-2023. It would be wise for the Knicks to add a veteran center on a short-term deal, such as Andre Drummond (if Robinson leaves), to allow Sims to develop his game more.

Sims has a great amount of upside thanks to the raw athleticism he has showcased on both sides of the floor. If he can continue to put together strong performances the rest of the season, then the Knicks might have a key piece for what could be a promising future.