Quentin Grimes

Atlantic Notes: Grimes, Toppin, Celtics, Warren

Second-year guard Quentin Grimes could replace Evan Fournier in the Knicks‘ starting lineup, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv. When New York signed Jalen Brunson this summer, there were concerns that he and Fournier might not provide enough defense as a backcourt combination.

Begley states that starting Grimes as the shooting guard and having Fournier come off the bench was among several scenarios discussed by Knicks management this summer. Another option the team considered is moving RJ Barrett into the backcourt and giving Cam Reddish a chance to start at small forward.

Although Fournier would be an expensive reserve, Begley doesn’t believe New York should try to trade him. Begley notes that the Knicks need all the shooters they can get, which is why they signed Svi Mykhailiuk earlier this week.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Members of the Knicks‘ coaching staff believe Obi Toppin could see an increased role, Begley adds in the same piece. Toppin showed progress during his second NBA season and could become a starter if New York finds a taker for Julius Randle.
  • Despite some speculation to the contrary, Jay King of the Athletic hears that the Celtics don’t plan to reach out to a veteran big man to help replace Robert Williams (Twitter link). Sources tell King that the roster spot that formerly belonged to Bruno Caboclo will likely go to another young center or power forward. Williams will undergo arthroscopic surgery and is projected to miss four to six weeks.
  • Surgeries for both Williams and Danilo Gallinari have been scheduled for Thursday, tweets Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens called Williams’ injury “short term.”
  • T.J. Warren could be the Nets‘ leading scorer off the bench if he can overcome the foot problems that have plagued him for the past two seasons, Alex Schiffer of The Athletic writes in an overview of Brooklyn’s roster. Warren averaged 19.8 points per game and shot 40.3% from three-point range during his last healthy season. Schiffer believes the team is strong everywhere but center, and he points to Dwight Howard as a potential low-cost addition who could provide experience in the middle.

Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Raptors, Celtics, Sumner

The Knicks are hoping to rebound from a disappointing 2021/22 NBA season, with a $104MM new lead guard on the roster in Jalen Brunson. Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News assesses the club’s roster, projecting starters and the likely first names off the bench.

Bondy also notes that, in terms of potential future deals, 2019 lottery pick Cam Reddish, acquired in a midseason trade with the Hawks, seems to want to move on. “It’s clear Cam has no place there,” a source close to the 6’8″ small forward told the Daily News. Bondy writes that the big question mark in the team’s starting lineup is at the shooting guard position, where the battle for suiting up as Brunson’s new backcourt mate looks to be between Evan Fournier and Quentin Grimes.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Following a return to the playoffs in 2021/22, the Raptors will be looking to build off their 48-34 season. Eric Koreen of The Athletic identifies paths to improvement for Toronto, including All-NBA forward Pascal Siakam‘s pull-up three-pointers, second-year forward Scottie Barnes‘s defense on the wing, and swingman OG Anunoby‘s scoring in isolation.
  • The Celtics returned to the NBA Finals for the first time in 12 years last season. Jared Weiss of The Athletic examines ways in which head coach Ime Udoka could look to preserve the health of injury-prone starting center Robert Williams and 36-year-old starting power forward Al Horford, including giving more minutes to reserve Luke Kornet.
  • New Nets wing Edmond Sumner has cleared an injury recovery hurdle, he announced in a tweet. The nature of the step Sumner took was not clarified. “Hit a big milestone today!” Sumner wrote in part. “Been patiently waiting to get up and down. Been grinding and trusting this process not rushing it.” Sumner signed with Brooklyn on a veteran’s minimum deal this offseason, after missing all of 2021/22 with a torn left Achilles tendon.

Knicks Rumors: Mitchell, Rosas, Barrett, Grimes

The Knicks believe they could have topped the offer that sent Donovan Mitchell to the Cavaliers, but they never got the chance to make a counterproposal, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Talks with the Jazz were on hold after word leaked late Monday night about an extension agreement with RJ Barrett. The Knicks were hoping to resume negotiations, but Utah reached a deal with Cleveland before that could happen.

Some members of the Knicks didn’t feel like they got “a fair shake” in the trade talks, and Bondy wonders whether the experience is related to the team’s high-profile appearance at a Jazz-Mavericks playoff game in April. New York, which was known to have interest in both Mitchell and Jalen Brunson, whom it ultimately signed, sent executives William Wesley and Allan Houston to the game, along with Julius Randle. They all sat at courtside, which reportedly upset officials from both Utah and Dallas.

The Knicks could have offered the Jazz more draft assets than they got from Cleveland, and they believe their early offers that centered on Barrett and first-round picks were better than the final deal. Bondy states that it’s unlikely that Utah executive Danny Ainge would sabotage a deal because of bitterness over the playoff stunt or a feud with CAA, but Bondy notes that Ainge only made one trade with the Knicks during his 18 years in the Celtics’ front office.

There’s more from New York:

  • Gersson Rosas, who serves as senior basketball advisor with the Knicks, handled most of the negotiations with Utah, sources tell Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Rosas has a friendly relationship with Jazz general manager Justin Zanik, so they did most of the talking instead of Ainge and Knicks president Leon Rose, according to Washburn’s sources. Although Rosas didn’t complete the deal, the report shows that he has assumed more than just an advisory role with the franchise.
  • The Knicks’ decision to give Barrett an extension was in reaction to the failed talks with the Jazz, per Marc Berman of The New York Post. A league source tells Berman that under normal circumstances, the team would have preferred to watch Barrett go through training camp before discussing the extension or possibly even wait until he hit restricted free agency next summer. The Knicks drafted Barrett before Rose and Wesley joined the organization. “They didn’t want to pay RJ now, they like RJ, but he’s not one of their guys,’’ Berman’s source said. “The preference was to trade him in a Donovan deal. … If they got Donovan without Barrett in the deal, they weren’t going to pay RJ now.’’ 
  • New York’s priority in trade talks was keeping Quentin Grimes, states David Aldridge of The Athletic. Aldridge recommends that the Knicks should dip into their stockpile of draft assets to try to get Myles Turner and Buddy Hield from the Pacers.

Details On Knicks’ Trade Offers For Donovan Mitchell

In the wake of the agreement between the Jazz and Cavaliers on a trade that will send Donovan Mitchell to Cleveland, details are trickling in on what the Knicks – long rumored to be Mitchell’s top suitor – offered for the three-time All-Star.

Not every outlet is entirely in alignment on what the Knicks put on the table for Mitchell, but the various reports paint a pretty clear picture of what it would’ve taken for the Jazz to send the 25-year-old to New York. Here’s what a few key national and local reporters are saying:

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

According to Wojnarowski, before extending RJ Barrett, the Knicks balked at including Quentin Grimes in a package that already featured Barrett, two unprotected first-round picks, the Bucks’ 2025 first-rounder (top-four protected), two second-round picks, two pick swaps, and a pair of expiring contracts from a third team.

When the Knicks wanted to replace Grimes in that package with Immanuel Quickley, the Jazz insisted on a third unprotected first-round pick, which the Knicks weren’t willing to give up, according to Wojnarowski, who says New York would’ve sent Evan Fournier and a first-round pick to a third team in order to spare Utah from having to take on Fournier’s multiyear contract.

Perhaps the most intriguing part of Wojnarowski’s report is his claim that the Knicks made an offer in early July that would’ve included Barrett, Obi Toppin, Mitchell Robinson (via sign-and-trade), and three unprotected first-round picks. When the Jazz turned down that proposal, Robinson re-signed with New York, which took him out of the mix for any further negotiations between the two teams.

Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports:

Goodwill’s intel is similar to Wojnarowski’s — he hears from sources that the Jazz and Knicks got close to a deal that would’ve included Barrett, Grimes, expiring contracts, two first-round picks, the Bucks’ 2025 pick, a pair of pick swaps, and two second-rounders. However, New York felt that price was too steep and decided to extend Barrett instead.

Marc Berman of The New York Post:

One of the Knicks’ last offers to Utah included two unprotected first-rounders and three conditional picks along with Barrett, according to Berman, who says it’s unclear whether the team was offering three unprotected first-rounders in permutations of the deal that didn’t include Barrett.

Berman suggests (via Twitter) that the Knicks withheld Grimes from all of their offers. That’s a little hard to believe, given how many different versions of deals the two sides discussed, but it sounds like New York wasn’t interested in adding the second-year guard as a sweetener to offers that already included Barrett and significant draft capital.

“(The Knicks) thought they had (Jazz CEO Danny) Ainge and Utah over the barrel,” one league source said to Berman. “They held back on best offers of picks and players and Danny got his three unprotected.”

Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News:

Bondy confirms that the Knicks weren’t willing to give up three unprotected first-round picks along with Barrett.

However, he says the team was open to moving any of its top prospects, including Grimes — again, presumably if they were going to include Grimes in certain iterations of their offer, the Knicks would’ve wanted to remove another asset or two.

Ian Begley of SNY.tv:

According to Begley, the Knicks did make offers for Mitchell that included three unprotected first-round picks, but Barrett wasn’t part of those packages.

Begley also reports that the Knicks offered different combinations of players in their proposals that featured two unprotected first-rounders and the Bucks’ lightly protected 2025 pick — some of those offers included Barrett and some didn’t (while Begley doesn’t confirm this, it sounds as if Grimes was probably put into some offers that didn’t include Barrett).

At one point, Begley writes, the Jazz asked for a package that included Barrett, Evan Fournier, three unprotected first-rounders, additional draft picks, and at least one other young Knick player. New York opted not to meet that price.

It’s worth noting that the Knicks themselves are likely to be one of the primary sources leaking these after-the-fact details. The Jazz wouldn’t have much incentive to leak packages that they could’ve had instead of Cleveland’s, whereas the Knicks may be hoping to convey the impression they made a strong play for Mitchell and made fair proposals.

With that in mind, it’s worth taking these reports with a grain of salt — it’s possible a key detail or two is being omitted. Still, there’s a pretty consistent message that the Knicks were, at the very least, willing to trade Barrett, two unprotected first-round picks, and some additional draft compensation for Mitchell.

It will be fascinating to follow the trajectories of Barrett and new Jazz players like Collin Sexton and Ochai Agbaji in the coming years to assess whether Utah made the right call by passing on the Knicks’ offers and pulling the trigger on the Cavs’ deal.

Knicks Notes: Barrett, Rival Opinions, Mitchell, Next Steps

The Knicks officially signed fourth-year small forward RJ Barrett today to a lucrative four-year rookie contract extension that can be worth up to $120MM. Taking a closer look at the deal in the latest edition of their podcast The Mismatch (YouTube video link), Kevin O’Connor and Chris Vernon of The Ringer argue the extension is a smart play for New York. The duo thinks that Barrett, at worst, will be a solid role player, and at best could reach All-Star greatness.

Vernon and O’Connor also both think Barrett will thrive best as a large shooting guard, the same position that undersized All-Star Donovan Mitchell, who was just dealt from the Jazz to the Cavaliers instead of the Knicks, plays.

Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post opines that Barrett’s extension serves as proof positive that team president Leon Rose and the rest of New York’s front office see Barrett as a core building block for the future. Vaccaro notes that Barrett has improved as a shooter each season, and says he’s worth the investment.

There’s more out of Madison Square Garden:

  • Rival coaches and executives are weighing in on the team’s decision to extend Barrett, writes Marc Berman of the New York Post“The Knicks normally overpay for decent players,’’ a coach told Berman. “Is RJ ever going to be more than a low efficiency, high usage scorer? Maybe. But maybe not. That’s the point. But they think he’s got a lot of room to get better.’’ An NBA scout offered the following assessment: “RJ is a really good player, but only if he’s surrounded by a really good team. (The Knicks) are a mediocre team, and they have a lot of money tied up in three players (Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle being the other two) who are third/fourth options. That would be the concern. It’s where do they go from here with this much money tied into three players. Are these contracts going to be (tradable) if need be, or you’re stuck with them?’’
  • The Knicks had the assets needed to trade for three-time Jazz All-Star Donovan Mitchell, who ultimately was sent to the Cavaliers today in a blockbuster deal. Ian Begley of SNY.tv breaks down New York’s thinking in not going all-in for Mitchell. In addition to being reticent to include three unprotected first-round picks as has been previously reported, Begley writes that the team was hesitant to trade Barrett or Quentin Grimes, both of whom Utah had been interested in adding.
  • Deciding to not make a deal for Mitchell may work out for the Knicks, according to Steve Popper of Newsday. Popper writes that a starting backcourt of two 6’1″ guards in Brunson and Mitchell could have put New York at a defensive disadvantage in a league full of bigger, longer guards. Popper wonders if the Knicks will now move on to considering 6’6″ Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, currently trapped on a franchise in the midst of a long-term rebuild.

Knicks/Jazz Rumors: Barrett, Grimes, Toppin, Mitchell

The Jazz are high on Knicks wing RJ Barrett and were “pushing” for him to be included in a potential trade for Donovan Mitchell, writes Tony Jones of The Athletic. Prior to agreeing to an extension, sources tell Jones that Barrett’s camp was “bracing” for the 22-year-old to be dealt away.

The extension will make including Barrett in a deal extremely difficult due to the “poison pill provision,” though the possibility reportedly remains. As Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype explains, the Jazz don’t have the necessary cap space or a trade exception big enough to absorb Barrett’s incoming salary, so for him to be included, a third team would likely have to be involved for salary-matching purposes.

As Steve Popper of Newsday writes, not everyone in the Knicks organization viewed Barrett as being worth $107MM over four years ($120MM with incentives), and others thought including him in a proposal for Mitchell might make the Jazz less likely to ask for additional draft compensation, which obviously wasn’t the case.

In addition to Barrett, Utah also values second-year guard Quentin Grimes and third-year forward Obi Toppin, according to Jones, who notes that both young players will likely have to part of the trade package if Barrett is not. However, New York has been “very hesitant” to part with Grimes to this point, sources tell Jones.

Like Marc Berman of The New York Post, both Popper and Jones hears the Knicks are still optimistic about landing Mitchell, but as with Grimes, Jones says they have been reluctant to include a “significant number” of unprotected first-round picks because they want to keep their options open for the future.

Jones still views the Knicks and Jazz as the most logical trade partners for Mitchell, but writes that both teams have questions that need answered first. Popper views Mitchell as a questionable fit with Jalen Brunson, and thinks the Knicks shouldn’t trade away all of their own unprotected first-rounders to land him.

According to Adam Zagoria of NJ.com, Mitchell removed the Jazz from his Twitter bio on Tuesday, fueling speculation about the trade talks.

Donovan Mitchell Trade To Knicks Remains Possible

RJ Barrett‘s extension with the Knicks complicates a potential trade for Donovan Mitchell, but it doesn’t close the door entirely, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post.

Sources tell Berman that the Jazz are most interested in stockpiling unprotected first-round picks in return for Mitchell. Berman has reported that Utah wants four unprotected picks in the trade, while New York is only willing to part with two, along with three conditional selections.

A league source indicates that the market for Mitchell remains limited, telling Berman, “There’s no place for Donovan to go right now. The Knicks can still get him.”

Berman also hears that the Jazz would like to expand the trade to include the Lakers and hopefully pick up L.A.’s 2027 and 2029 first-rounders. Berman notes that the Lakers likely have interest in Cam Reddish, whom they pursued at the trade deadline and who saw limited playing time after coming to New York. Reddish is a client of Rich Paul at Klutch Sports, Berman points out, which means LeBron James and Anthony Davis would probably support bringing him to L.A.

There’s more on a potential Mitchell trade to New York:

  • If Barrett’s new contract takes him out of the equation, Utah could become more focused on landing Quentin Grimes, Berman adds in the same piece. The 22-year-old shooting guard established himself as a fixture in coach Tom Thibodeau’s rotation last season, but Berman notes that there would be little chance for him to become a starter in New York with Mitchell and Jalen Brunson on hand.
  • The Jazz were aware that the Knicks set a Monday night deadline for a Barrett extension, but they didn’t let it impact negotiations, according to Sarah Todd of The Deseret News. She has heard conflicting reports about whether Utah wants Barrett or would be content with a deal that doesn’t include him. Sources tell Todd that both teams are playing hardball right now in trade talks, but there’s still a chance to complete a deal before training camp.
  • The “poison pill provision” means a third team would have to be included to get Barrett to Utah, ESPN’s Bobby Marks says in a video breakdown of Barrett’s extension. He says a team with cap room, such as the Pacers or Spurs, would have to be willing to take Evan Fournier‘s contract, which is worth nearly $56MM over the next three years.

Knicks Agree To Extend RJ Barrett, Complicating Donovan Mitchell Talks

The Knicks and forward RJ Barrett are finalizing a four-year rookie scale contract extension that could be worth up to $120MM, agent Bill Duffy tells Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The exact base value of Barrett’s new deal isn’t yet known, but Ian Begley of SNY.tv reports (via Twitter) that there are bonuses tied to All-Star, All-NBA, and All-Defensive selections. In other words, it sounds like the former No. 3 overall pick would have to play at a very high level to earn the full $120MM.

A former star at Duke, Barrett has steadily increased his scoring average in his three NBA seasons with the Knicks, registering a career-high 20.0 PPG in 70 games (34.5 MPG) in 2021/22. He also contributed 5.8 RPG and 3.0 APG while shooting .408/.342/.714 last season. Those shooting marks were a step down from his career bests in ’20/21 (.441/.401/.746).

According to Wojnarowski, the Barrett extension will complicate the Knicks’ discussions with the Jazz about a potential Donovan Mitchell trade. Sources tell ESPN that those talks intensified over the weekend as the two teams made some progress, but there was still a gap between what each side was willing to do.

Knicks president of basketball operations Leon Rose set a Monday night deadline to either agree to a deal for Mitchell or commit to an extension for Barrett, per Wojnarowski, who notes that the “poison pill provision” will now almost certainly ensure that the former Blue Devil won’t be part of a package for Mitchell.

As we outline in our glossary entry, a player who signs a rookie scale extension but remains on his rookie contract has different outgoing and incoming salary-matching figures, which is referred to as a “poison pill” — in Barrett’s case, the gap between his outgoing and incoming figures will exceed $15MM, according to Wojnarowski. That would make it extremely challenging for both the Knicks and Jazz to send out and take back a legal amount of salary if Barrett is part of a package for Mitchell.

As Wojnarowski explains, Barrett was a “staple” in several of the proposals for Mitchell that the Jazz and Knicks discussed, with Utah highly valuing the 22-year-old. While New York had apparently been willing to include Barrett, the two teams were still at an impasse over the possible inclusion of Quentin Grimes and the number of unprotected first-round picks in the package, per ESPN.

It remains possible that the Knicks and Jazz will agree to a deal that doesn’t include Barrett, but that would require the Knicks to give up “far more” draft assets than they’ve been willing to surrender thus far, sources tell Wojnarowski.

For now, the two teams are backing off those trade talks, but the Jazz aren’t engaged in serious discussions with any other suitors about Mitchell, so neither they nor the Knicks have ruled out the possibility of resuming their talks before training camps begin in four weeks.

As Wojnarowski notes, Barrett’s extension will end an ignominious streak for the Knicks, as he’ll become the team’s first first-round pick since Charlie Ward in 1999 to sign a multiyear contract extension following his rookie deal.

Barrett will also become the fifth player to finalize a rookie scale extension this offseason. While his deal won’t be worth as much as the maximum-salary extensions signed by Ja Morant, Zion Williamson, and Darius Garland, it will exceed Keldon Johnson‘s four-year, $74MM contract.

Assuming Barrett’s new extension doesn’t include any options, it will keep him under team control through the 2026/27 season.

Knicks Notes: Barrett, Fournier, Mitchell, Pitino

While it’s clear they’re seeking several first-round picks in exchange for Donovan Mitchell, there have been conflicting reports over which Knicks players the Jazz would prefer in such a deal.

According to SNY TV’s Ian Begley, Utah continues to have strong interest in Knicks wing RJ BarrettEvan Fournier’s name has also come up in discussions — his contract would certainly facilitate a deal from salary-matching purposes.

The Jazz would also want at least one of the trio of Obi ToppinQuentin Grimes and Immanuel Quickley, Begley adds.

The Knicks have softened their stance on potentially dealing Barrett, with some of their decision makers willing to part with Barrett in a Mitchell deal, according to Begley’s sources. However, there are several voices of influence in the organization, Begley notes, so it’s no certainty they’d actually give up Barrett.

We have more on the Knicks:

  • Rick Pitino, who coached them in the late ’80s and currently coaches at Iona, said that Mitchell would “love” to wear a Knicks uniform, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. “Donovan loves the Knicks,’’ Pitino said. “Donovan loves being around his mom, sister and dad. Donovan would treasure being a Knick. That being said, things have to work out. I’m hoping, keeping my fingers crossed that he becomes a Knick. It would be very special for me as a coach seeing him in a Knick uniform as an ex-Knick coach.”
  • Barrett is a member of Team Canada, but he won’t play in the World Cup qualifying game against Argentina this week, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News tweets. He’s reluctant to risk taking the court with a potential financial windfall looming. Barrett is eligible for a rookie scale extension this offseason.
  • For more info on Mitchell trade talks, click here.

Knicks Still Cautious About Dealing Draft Assets For Donovan Mitchell

The Knicks and Jazz recently renewed trade talks regarding Donovan Mitchell, but New York remains cautious about parting with a huge number of future assets to acquire the All-Star guard, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post.

Multiple sources tell Berman that the Knicks recoiled from the original demands by Utah team president Danny Ainge, who asked for seven first-round picks in addition to young players on controllable contracts. Talks remained dormant for a while, but the teams have re-engaged each other.

According to Berman, New York’s front office believes adding Mitchell would improve the team by about 10 wins, taking it to the 47-victory level. The concern is that there would be no way to improve beyond that if the franchise gives up a significant number of its draft assets.

“Getting from 47 wins to 57 wins, that’s harder than 37 to 47,’’ a coaching source told Berman.

Berman notes that the Knicks traded this year’s first-round pick to clear cap room to add free agent guard Jalen Brunson, and the team could be in danger of losing another selection if the NBA determines that tampering occurred in the Brunson signing.

Coach Tom Thibodeau is strongly interested in adding Mitchell, Berman adds, but he’s staying out of the spotlight while the process plays out. Berman cites a belief around the league that Thibodeau would prefer to part with RJ Barrett in a Mitchell trade rather than give up second-year guard Quentin Grimes, who’s a better defender and long-distance shooter. Berman hears that Ainge is “hot to acquire” Grimes for Utah’s rebuilding project, and Berman’s source says Grimes wouldn’t be opposed to leaving instead of having no chance to start behind a Brunson-Mitchell backcourt.

Barrett, who averaged 20.0 PPG last season, is eligible for a rookie scale extension until October 17.