We all know that RJ Barrett’s the face of the future for the New York Knicks, but that doesn’t mean that he is without a strong supporting cast. Although the Knicks lost control of a double-digit lead against the Nets (again), rookie Jericho Sims was a silver lining.
Sims entered the starting lineup in place of Mitchell Robinson, who was out with a non-COVID illness. He rose to the challenge, finishing with his first career double-double.
The 2021 second-round draft pick matched his career-high with 10 points (4-of-6) and 13 rebounds in 35 minutes, the most time that he’s played in a game this year.
Sims was tasked with going head-to-head with one of the best rebounders in the game in Andre Drummond and he excelled. Brooklyn’s center finished with nine rebounds and four points.
New York has two games left to play in the 2021-22 season, which means that Robinson could be wrapping up his career with the Knicks. He’s yet to sign a contract extension and if the two sides don’t come to an agreement by the end of June, New York’s starting center will enter free agency on July 1.
However, Sims proved that if that were to happen, he’ll be ready to compete for the starting spot.
Jericho Sims is capable of being the New York Knicks’ starting center.
We’ve gotten to see flashes of Sims this year, but not in the way that we got to see him play on Wednesday. The Knicks held a 17-point lead at the half and were up by as many as 21 in the third quarter, which was Sim’s best quarter of play.
Before Kevin Durant began to mount his team to an inevitable comeback, Sims was leading the way as the top former Texas Longhorn on the court, just like Sportnet New York’s Ian Begley said.
The Knicks’ front office could be on the cusp of having a busy offseason (we’ve heard that one before), and if Robinson does walk, Sims shouldn’t be a lock to be New York’s backup center. He deserves more respect than that.
Although he’s averaging 1.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 11.8 minutes in 38 games, he’s capable of being in the Knicks’ starting rotation.
Keep in mind, he’s about to enter his first full offseason, and that means that there are five months of work in between Sims and the start of 2022-23. Is there any way that he can add another inch or two to his vertical?
While it’ll sting if Robinson suits up for a new team next year, it’ll hurt a little less to see 23-year-old Sims have the opportunity to take over. New York has one of the most exciting young cores in the NBA, if not the best, and Sims reaffirmed that on national television.