An otherwise exhilarating trip to Vegas ended with a letdown.
Running for their first Summer League title, the Knicks went cold in the championship game on Sunday afternoon and were suffocated in an 85-77 defeat by the Blazers.
Quentin Grimes, the only first-round pick on the Knicks summer league roster, described the team’s offensive struggles while missing nine of their 11 3-pointers. It was an uphill battle from tipoff and the Knicks missed out on championship rings, which were distributed to winners for the first time in Summer League history.
Yep, the 10-day tournament in Vegas, once considered in the NBA calendar, has become such a corporate moneymaker they’re giving away the diamonds.
Grimes, like teammate Miles McBride, has been linked to trade rumors for Donovan Mitchell of Utah. They probably increased their value this month. We will take stock below.
Average: 30 minutes, 21.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4 assists, 41% shooting
Yep, it was a disappointing final game for Grimes, who surrounded Portland’s defense and shot for 5-for-16. But otherwise, Grimes answered the team’s call to be a special offensive player, averaging 23.5 points in the first four games and demonstrating an aptitude for shot building that we had not yet seen from him in the pros. And even with the Dud against Portland, Grimes was a candidate for Summer League overall MVP, an honor previously won by Dame Lillard, John Wall, Blake Griffin and Nate Robinson.
Average: 29 minutes, 16.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 5 assists, 50% shooting
The 2021 second-round pick fought defensively and dropped 23 points in a 9-23 shootout against the Magic. Like Grimes, he was ineffective in the championship game, but overall, probably also made a strong impression on Tim Thibodeau and maybe Utah executive Danny Enge.
Average: 27.4 minutes, 11.6 points, 9 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 80% shooting
It is an athletic event and was moved to the Summer League. The bigger problem is Sims’ foul-shooting, which needs to be improved for minutes in a row in the NBA. He managed just 42% off Stripe after shooting 41% in the Summer League last season.
Average: 28.6 minutes, 11.4 points, 4 rebounds, 2.4 assists in 49% shooting
On a two-way deal this season, Hunt is athletic but needs to fill in physically. We love the potential at just 23 years old, but it’s hard to see him grab a spot in the regular season until the roster is depleted by the Donovan Mitchell trade.
Average: 26 minutes, 5.8 points, 6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 26% shooting
Just didn’t feel ready. The second-round pick reacted poorly to his first professional minutes, raising concerns about his shot (he made just 20% of his 3). Kielce will have time to work on this stuff in G League.
We enjoyed the competition from Deacon Jeffries and Gene Monteiro had a few moments, but the Knicks showed up to contract players in the Summer League and didn’t give the rest of the roster many opportunities.