Summer League is here for the New York Knicks, and there were some disappointments once the team’s roster was released. For starters, according to SNY’s Ian Begley, Jacob Toppin won’t be with New York because of a minor injury. He signed a two-way contract after the draft and fans were looking forward to seeing Obi’s younger brother play.
There’s another player that fans want to see back in Las Vegas, but he won’t be there. The Thunder drafted Rokas Jokubaitis with the No. 34 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft and later that night, he was acquired by the Knicks. Jokubaitis played for New York in Summer League that year but missed the event in 2022 because he had ear surgery.
The Knicks reportedly extended a Summer League invitation to the 22-year-old, but he will instead be preparing to play for Lithuania at the 2023 FIBA World Cup, which begins in late August.
Rokas Jokubaitis won’t be with New York Knicks at Summer League
Knicks fans are understandably disappointed that Rokas Jokubaitis won’t be at Summer League this year. Tom Thibodeau said earlier this year that he liked Jokubaitis’ showing at Summer League in 2021 and that he’d like to “see more of him.”
According to New York Daily News’ Stefan Bondy, the Knicks not having room for the guard on their roster played a role in Jokubaitis’ decision.
New York was guard heavy entering the offseason, and after trading Obi Toppin and signing Donte DiVincenzo, that’s even more true now. While that statement from Jokubaitis’ agent makes sense, it’s also difficult for the Knicks to prepare for him to come over when there’s no plan in place for that to happen.
Jokubaitis won the EuroLeague Rising Star award in 2022 after averaging 7.2 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 2.8 assists while shooting 55.6% from the field and 59.9% from three. He joined the company of current NBA players such as Luka Doncic by winning the award and was the first Lithuanian-born player to do so.
The guard’s spent the past two seasons playing for Barcelona. His squad made the EuroLeague Final Four this past season, but came up short to Real Madrid, 78-66. Jokubaitis finished with six points, two rebounds, and three assists in 12 minutes. He suffered a hard fall and chipped his teeth in the process.
As nice as it would be to see Rokas Jokubaitis in a Knicks uniform, it seems likelier that he’ll be involved in some sort of trade.