The New York Knicks have a unique young core highlighted by Quentin Grimes, Immanuel Quickley, and even RJ Barrett. It might be hard to believe, but the oldest player out of that bunch is Quickley, who is 24. New York’s young core was the talk of last year’s offseason when the Donovan Mitchell trade talks were still ongoing.
Grimes is coming off a season where he took Evan Fournier’s spot in the starting lineup and played 71 games (he played in only 45 as a rookie). Quickley had a breakout third year in the league that led to him being named runner-up for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award. Barrett struggled during the regular season but turned it up in the playoffs and was critical to the Knicks beating the Cavaliers in the first round.
Unless a star becomes available that New York decides to pursue, that trio still has work to do but doesn’t need to prove themselves to remain with the organization. Well, at least for now.
As for the Knicks’ other young players, their futures aren’t as sure, starting with Jericho Sims.
2 players the New York Knicks should develop, 2 they shouldn’t
Develop: Jericho Sims
After his rookie season, Jericho Sims had his two-way contract converted to a standard, two-year deal. He had a non-guaranteed agreement for 2023-24, but because New York didn’t waive him by midnight on July 16, his contract is partially guaranteed. He’ll make at least $1.2 million (out of $1.9 million) next season.
Sims underwent shoulder surgery during the playoffs, which definitively ended his season. He had been out of the rotation for a few weeks due to the injury.
Before getting hurt, the 24-year-old averaged 3.4 points and 4.7 rebounds in 15.6 minutes per game across 52 contests (16 starts). As a starter in Mitchell Robinson’s absence, Sims averaged 4.2 points and 6.3 rebounds.
Sims is a traditional center, operating as a rim protector and rebounder. He’s limited on the offensive end, but he posted a true shooting percentage of 78% during the regular season, which is quite efficient. He hasn’t received much playing time during his first two years in New York, but that was expected.
Isaiah Hartenstein solidified himself as the Knicks’ backup center behind Robinson, but that doesn’t mean the organization should give up on Sims. The more experience that he gets, the better. He may not evolve to be a starter in the NBA, but he could nail down a valuable off-the-bench role.