Quentin Grimes

New York Notes: Warren, Nets, A. Williams, Robinson, Knicks

With Kevin Durant sidelined due to a knee injury, Nets forward T.J. Warren feels as if he’s capable of stepping up and taking on a bigger role. However, as Brian Lewis of The New York Post writes, Warren is still on a minutes limit after missing nearly two years of action, and while he recognizes it’s in his best interest, he can’t help but be frustrated by it.

“Yeah, it’s super-frustrating, trust me,” Warren said. “It’s trying to find a balance (between) being out two years but also knowing that I feel like I can carry the load a little bit during those long stretches.

“But just got to put my trust and training staff’s hands. … They’ve been doing a great job with me, got me back to this point, and just got to see the bigger picture, end of the season, playoffs, playing at my best, hopefully off the minute restriction.”

Warren has averaged 20.7 minutes per game in 19 appearances since making his season debut. In the Nets’ last three games with Durant unavailable, he has averaged 16.0 points in 24.9 minutes per night.

Here’s more on the NBA’s two New York-based teams:

  • Despite losing all three of their games since Durant’s injury, the Nets remain upbeat and confident that they’ll be able to right the ship and avoid a repeat of last season’s 5-16 slide without KD, Lewis writes in another New York Post story. “Last year it was… it was kind of a toxic environment,” Nic Claxton said. “We didn’t know if everybody wanted to be here at the time. This year there’s no divide between everybody that’s out there. We’re going to figure it out.” As Lewis notes, Claxton’s comments appear to be referencing James Harden, who asked to be traded during Durant’s absence.
  • After being waived by the Nets last week, rookie guard Alondes Williams has rejoined the Long Island Nets, Brooklyn’s G League affiliate, according to Chris Milholen of NetsDaily. Williams had spent plenty of time with Long Island on his two-way contract, but is now an NBA free agent and would be free to sign with any team if he gets an offer.
  • Knicks center Mitchell Robinson left Wednesday’s game due to a sprained right thumb and will undergo further evaluation on Thursday to determine the severity of the injury, per Zach Braziller of The New York Post. If Robinson misses time, big man Jericho Sims will likely reclaim a rotation role for New York.
  • Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau isn’t concerned about how much court time his top players are seeing, referring to critics of his rotation as the “minutes police,” Braziller says in another story for The New York Post. “I know you guys like to create the narrative for your stories and you don’t look at it in totality,” Thibodeau said. “I don’t think we have anyone in the top 20 in minutes played.” As Braziller details, in the 15 most recent games entering Wednesday night, Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson were in the NBA’s top five in minutes played, while Quentin Grimes was 14th. However, all three players rank much lower among the full-season minutes leaders.

Atlantic Notes: Irving, Knicks Rotation, VanVleet, Siakam

Kyrie Irving hasn’t been able to produce during the fourth quarter since Kevin Durant was sidelined by a knee injury, Brian Lewis of the New York Post notes. Against Boston on Thursday, the Nets star guard shot 3-of-10, missing all three 3-point attempts, in the last 12 minutes. Against the Thunder on Sunday, Irving had just two points on 1-for-4 shooting in the fourth quarter.

“I’m doing the best job I can. I wish I could make a few more shots within the minutes and be efficient,” Irving said of those Nets’ losses. “I know that’ll come, and I’ll continue to prepare the best way I know how and be a better example for the guys in the locker room.”

The Nets were without both stars on Tuesday. Irving missed the game against San Antonio with right calf soreness, Nick Friedell of ESPN tweets.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Jalen Brunson, Quentin Grimes, RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson and Immanuel Quickley have absorbed a vast majority of the minutes in Tom Thibodeau’s latest Knicks rotation, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic. The Knicks could use another source of offense if they continue with that rotation, which means a trade to address that need is a possibility. Houston’s Eric Gordon or a wing player could be the target.
  • With Fred VanVleet likely to decline his player option in order to become a free agent this summer, the Raptors are in a tricky situation regarding their point guard, Eric Koreen of The Athletic writes. A hot streak by VanVleet could help them move him for a suitable package before the deadline. If the Raptors decide not to trade him, they had better be prepared to make a serious long-term commitment this summer, despite his off year.
  • If the Raptors can get an offer for Pascal Siakam like Utah did for Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, they should strongly consider it, Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype opines. Toronto could seek multiple unprotected first-round picks, prospects, and good veterans on team-friendly deals for Siakam. Teams like Dallas, Phoenix, and Atlanta would be great fits for Siakam and could all make strong offers for him, Gozlan adds. That would facilitate a reshaping of their core group without an extended rebuild.

Knicks Notes: Brunson, Quickley, McBride, Grimes, Randle, Toppin

Knicks point man Jalen Brunson has shown thus far that he’s worth the huge free agent contract and the subsequent tampering punishment administered by the league, Ian O’Connor of the New York Post opines.

Brunson has solidified a long-time trouble spot for the Knicks, expertly guiding the team in the offensive zone. That more than makes up for his defensive shortcomings and lack of athleticism, O’Connor writes. It also far outweighs the 2025 second rounder they’ll have to forfeit. The Knicks stole away Brunson from Dallas with a four-year, $104MM deal.

We have more on the Knicks:

  • Brunson missed three games last week and RJ Barrett remains sidelined with a lacerated right index finger. The silver lining is that Immanuel Quickley, Miles McBride and Quentin Grimes have received extensive playing time in their absences, Peter Botte of the New York Post writes. That trio started in a 20-point victory over Houston on Saturday, with Quickley and Grimes combining for 46 points and nine assists.
  • Last season, Julius Randle had a combative relationship with the home crowd as he struggled to regain his All-Star form from 2020/21. He’s now the toast of Knicks fans once again and challenging for another All-Star spot, averaging 32.4 points and 12.9 rebounds in his last seven games, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News notes. “You work hard to put yourself in a position to do that. So it would be amazing [to get selected to the All-Star team]. I love it,” Randle said.
  • Obi Toppin has been upgraded to doubtful for Wednesday’s home game against the Spurs, the team’s PR department tweets. Toppin hasn’t played since suffering a non-displaced fracture in his right fibula on Dec. 7.

Atlantic Notes: Lee, LeBron, Maxey, Grimes

After being released from his two-way contract with the Sixers earlier this week, young point guard Saben Lee has re-joined the Raptors‘ NBA G League affiliate, the Raptors 905, writes Blake Murphy of Sportsnet.ca (Twitter link).

Lee initially joined the 905 in October before latching on with Philadelphia in late November on that two-way deal.

The 23-year-old was initially selected with the No. 38 pick out of Vanderbilt in the 2020 draft. He spent his first two NBA seasons with the Pistons, averaging 5.6 PPG across 85 games. This season, he has appeared in 15 NBAGL games between the Sixers’ G League affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats, and the Raptors 905, averaging 23.3 PPG, 6.4 APG and 4.7 RPG.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • With Lakers forward LeBron James recently voicing his concerns about being able to compete with his current team during the twilight of his career, Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice wonders if the Sixers could work as a potential trade landing spot for the 18-time All-Star this summer. James, who just inked an extension prior to the start of this season, cannot be moved until the start of the 2023 offseason. Next summer, Neubeck notes, the Sixers could potentially trade the expiring contract of starting small forward Tobias Harris along with explosive young guard Tyrese Maxey, plus some future draft compensation, to L.A. in exchange for James.
  • Maxey, who has been sidelined with a fractured foot since November 18, practiced with the Sixers on Thursday, according to Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer, a positive sign that he’ll be back in action this weekend. The possibility of a potential Friday return against the Pelicans in New Orleans was recently floated, and he has been officially listed as probable to suit up for that game, Mizell reports (Twitter link).
  • Young Knicks guard Quentin Grimes continues to develop as a potent 3-and-D option for New York, writes Fred Katz of The Athletic. Grimes has been performing well since been promoted to a starting role for his team last month. “It’s not an easy chore to take the best perimeter player every game,” head coach Tom Thibodeau said of Grimes. “Sometimes, you can do it great, and they still can score. But he’s got the right mindset for it.”

Knicks Notes: Barrett, D. Rose, Grimes, Thibodeau

A “weird” summer for Knicks swingman RJ Barrett may have led to his slow start to the season, writes Steve Popper of Newsday. Barrett went through weeks of hearing his name floated in a potential trade to Utah for Donovan Mitchell. When Mitchell ended up in Cleveland, the Knicks quickly reversed course and worked out a contract extension with Barrett.

He admits being cautious during most of the offseason with no extension in place and so much uncertainty regarding his future.

“It was weird, not really getting to even play runs like I normally do,” Barrett said. “Really just going the whole time without basketball. It was a little weird. Got it done, trying to figure it out a little bit. Have a long way to go. Have to keep working. At the end of the day, you’ve got to play basketball, man. I was still working out, but there’s no shape like game shape. Playing the games, getting used to that again, is the best thing.”

Barrett began the season in a long shooting slump, but he’s turned that around as New York has strung together six straight wins. During those games, Barrett is connecting at 43.1% from the field and 41.2% on three-pointers.

“Honestly, I play with the same confidence game in and game out,” he said. “Even when I wasn’t shooting it well, I was probably still shooting the same amount of shots. Doesn’t matter. You get open shots, you shoot them. You work at this game hard enough, you do it for a number of years, your confidence is always there.”

There’s more on the Knicks:

  • Derrick Rose is currently out of the team’s rotation, but he remains a hero in Chicago, Popper notes in a separate story. Bulls fans chanted for the former MVP to get playing time in the closing minutes of Friday’s blowout and cheered when coach Tom Thibodeau responded by sending Rose to the scorer’s table.
  • Quentin Grimes supports Thibodeau’s decision to make him earn his minutes after a foot injury forced him to miss almost all of training camp and the start of the season, per Zach Braziller of The New York Post. The Knicks are 8-5 since Grimes became a starter, and like Barrett, he’s enjoying his best stretch of the season during the winning streak.
  • The Knicks are one of the few remaining teams that doesn’t practice load management, observes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Julius Randle, Jalen Brunson and Barrett have appeared in all 29 games this season. “It used to be a big deal to play 82,” Thibodeau said. “And when you talk to the guys that have done it, they always say that you condition your body to do what you want it to do.”

Knicks Notes: Grimes, McBride, Anthony, Hartenstein, Sims, Reddish

Coach Tom Thibodeau’s decision to put Quentin Grimes in the starting lineup and make Miles McBride the first guard off the bench has transformed the Knicks, writes Steve Popper of Newsday. They replaced Evan Fournier and Derrick Rose in the rotation, and they’ve upgraded the perimeter defense amid a three-game winning streak. New York has held opponents to 81, 89 and 102 points during that run.

“I think we’re just playing hard and that’s really it,” Grimes said. “Just playing hard, covering for people’s mistakes, not worrying if someone gets scored on. We’ll get a stop the next time. Right now we’re just playing extremely hard, not worrying about the result, because we know if we play hard, everything will take care of itself.”

The Knicks always expected great things from Grimes, the 25th pick in the 2021 draft, which is why they were reluctant to include him in a proposed trade for Donovan Mitchell, Popper notes. It’s different for McBride, who was a second-round choice last year and saw limited playing time until recently.

“I understood coming out it would be tough,” McBride said. “Playing behind, last year it was Kemba (Walker), D-Rose, Alec Burks. This year it’s still D-Rose, and now Jalen (Brunson). So I just knew it was time to work on my game and my opportunity would come.”

There’s more from New York City:

  • The Knicks don’t appear likely to sign Carmelo Anthony to replace Obi Toppin, who will miss at least two to three weeks with a fibula injury, a source tells Popper. Anthony, who remains unsigned after playing for the Lakers last season, has a good relationship with team president Leon Rose but he doesn’t fit Thibodeau’s emphasis on defense, according to Popper’s source. The team also doesn’t want Anthony to take minutes away from Toppin once he returns.
  • Instead of going small by using RJ Barrett to replace Toppin, Thibodeau paired big men Isaiah Hartenstein and Jericho Sims in Friday’s win at Charlotte, per Zach Braziller of The New York Post. It sounds like the arrangement might continue, as Thibodeau said, “I liked the size of Isaiah and Jericho together.”
  • Barrett is offering support to Cam Reddish, his former college teammate, whose minutes were cut drastically in Thibodeau’s rotation shakeup, Braziller adds. “We definitely talk all the time, talk every day,” Barrett said. “That’s my guy, my brother. So I’m keeping his spirits up.”

Knicks Notes: Reddish, Rotation, Trade Interest, Grimes

After New York’s 113-89 victory over Atlanta on Wednesday, Knicks wing Cam Reddish was asked for his thoughts on being pulled from the rotation the past couple games, writes Steve Popper of Newsday (subscriber link). He says he did his best, but admits consistency was an issue.

I was doing what I could to the best of my ability on both sides of the floor,” Reddish said. “I’m gonna say it again, all of the other stuff is out of my control, whether I’m doing this or doing that on the floor, my role, all that stuff, isn’t necessarily up to me. I’m just coming in and doing what I’m told to do.

I mean, (my play has been) up and down. Just like everything else, just up and down. I just try to make the most of my opportunity while I was out there. And that’s that.”

Responding to a report that the Knicks are working with his representatives to find a new home for Reddish, the 23-year-old essentially repeated what he said in September, that he didn’t request a trade. The thing is, in neither instance did the reports indicate that he had formally requested a trade, just that his camp preferred a change of scenery.

Here’s more on Reddish and the Knicks:

  • The Lakers, Heat and Bucks are among the teams that have expressed interest in Reddish since the Knicks acquired him from the Hawks in January, though that interest isn’t necessarily recent, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv. Begley also reports that that the Lakers and Knicks explored a deal this month that “would have required a third team to complete,” but it’s unclear if those talks involved Reddish.
  • Second-year guard Quentin Grimes has taken advantage of his increased playing time recently, per Mike Vaccarro of The New York Post. After playing strong defense against the Cavaliers’ Donovan Mitchell on Sunday, Grimes helped limit Trae Young to 19 points on 20 shots on Wednesday and scored a season-high 23 points on 8-of-11 shooting, Vaccarro notes. “He’s huge for us,” Julius Randle said of Grimes. “He competes on the defensive end of the floor and that makes a difference.”
  • In case you missed it, we passed along several Knicks-related items yesterday, including rumors involving Derrick Rose, Immanuel Quickley and Evan Fournier, in addition to Reddish.

Knicks Notes: Mitchell, Grimes, Reddish, Rose

A potentially embarrassing night turned into a positive for the Knicks as Donovan Mitchell made his first appearance of the season at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, writes Steve Popper of Newsday.

Mitchell, a New York native who was nearly traded to the Knicks this summer, has raised his game since Cleveland swooped in with a better offer. Although he scored 23 points in Sunday’s contest, he was limited to 8-of-22 from the field and 2-of-11 from three-point range. Afterward, he wasn’t interested in speculating about what might have happened if New York’s front office had completed the trade.

“What’s done is done, and I’m happy as hell to be where I’m at,” Mitchell said. “At the end of the day, this decision was made and I don’t think I’ve been happier since I’ve been in the league. But I think for me it’s always going to be motivation to come back and play well in my hometown, but you could say that about anybody. But with what happened this summer, it’s over with, it happened and I’m happy to be with the Cavaliers.”

There’s more from New York:

  • Quentin Grimes, whom the Knicks were reluctant to include in a potential deal with Utah, was excited to get the assignment to guard Mitchell, Popper adds. Grimes set the tone in the first quarter as Mitchell hit just 1-of-6 shots, with his lone make coming on a switch. “I knew that was going to be a big matchup with everything that happened this summer,” Grimes said. “Come in focused. That’s one of the best players in the NBA. Had to stay locked in, and I feel like I did a good job on him today and we came out with a win.”
  • Cam Reddish didn’t play against Cleveland as coach Tom Thibodeau trimmed his rotation for the game, per Zach Braziller of The New York Post. Braziller notes that Reddish has been ineffective since returning from a groin injury and adjusting to a reserve role after spending time as a starter earlier in the fall.
  • Derrick Rose also wasn’t used Sunday, marking his first healthy scratch of the season, adds Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Thibodeau indicated that it may have been a one-game situation with Rose, resting the veteran guard because the team was on the second night of a back-to-back. “I wanted to get it to nine-man rotation,” Thibodeau told reporters. “It worked a lot better.”

Atlantic Notes: Harris, Grimes, Tatum, Brown, Raptors

Though Sixers starting power forward Tobias Harris may be a trade candidate down the line, Philadelphia needs his two-way contributions while weathering injuries to the team’s three leading scorers, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Harris, the Sixers’ fourth-leading scorer, has two years and $76.9MM remaining on his current maximum-salary contract with the club. In his last two contests – with James Harden, Joel Embiid, and Tyrese Maxey out – Harris is averaging 21.5 PPG while taking 20.5 field goals a night. For the 2022/23 season, the 6’8″ vet is averaging 15.6 PPG, on 13.1 field goal tries.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Knicks guard Quentin Grimes has been logging significant minutes of late, having been promoted to a starting role in the absence of injured wing Cam Reddish, per Peter Botte of The New York Post. “I feel great,” Grimes said of the opportunity. “I feel like I’m kind of back to my old game shape, really.Zach Braziller of The New York Post scouts how Grimes can help New York though his shooting, perimeter defense, and passing.
  • Ahead of his Mavericks’ 125-112 loss to the Celtics on Wednesday, All-Star guard Luka Doncic praised Boston as “probably” the league’s best team, adding that All-Star swingmen Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum could be the team’s best tandem, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Tatum and Brown combined for 68 points in Boston’s win over the Mavs.
  • The Raptors front office does not yet have enough information about the team’s roster to have made a determination about how best it can approach this season’s trade deadline, writes Doug Smith of The Toronto Star. Injuries and illnesses have affected several key players, including forward Pascal Siakam and shooting guard Gary Trent Jr. have impeded the team’s appraisals.

Knicks Notes: Quickley, Robinson, McBride, Rose, Grimes

The Knicksreported willingness to trade Immanuel Quickley is related to their long-term goal of making a deal for a star, explains Fred Katz of The Athletic. New York is seeking a first-round pick for Quickley, according to Katz, who writes that New York’s front office may believe that a first-rounder from another team is more valuable in a potential trade than Quickley, who will be eligible for a rookie-scale extension next summer.

Quickley has been part of the team’s rotation since his rookie season, and his game has evolved over time. Katz notes that he was originally relied on for instant offense off the bench, but his efficiency has declined and he’s now shooting a career-worst 30.9% on three-pointers. However, Quickley’s defense has gotten better, he pushes the pace in transition and is relentless in pursuing loose balls. He has value to the organization, but management may not want to pay whatever he can get in an extension or in restricted free agency.

Katz points out that Jalen Brunson, Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett and Quentin Grimes will earn a combined $97MM in the 2024/25 season, which would be the first year of an extension for Quickley or Obi Toppin. If they both sign for roughly the mid-level exception, the Knicks will have about $120MM tied up for seven players. Assuming a salary cap of $140MM, the team would have limited resources to complete its roster, without considering new deals for Cam Reddish, Isaiah Hartenstein and Jericho Sims.

There’s more on the Knicks:

  • Robinson was ruled out of Monday’s game in the fourth quarter because of pain in his right knee, writes Peter Botte of The New York Post. It’s the same condition that recently caused him to miss eight games, but the team isn’t overly concerned. “Just a little soreness. To be expected,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “I thought he gave us really good minutes in the first half. But it’ll be a work in progress each day. (Tuesday) will be a good day for recovery and rehab. But he’s coming along.” 
  • Derrick Rose‘s toe injury has created an opportunity for second-year guard Miles McBride, Botte adds. McBride got into just four of the team’s first 16 games, but he played 29 combined minutes in the last two. “Good energy, good ball pressure. It’s good to see him out there,” Thibodeau said. “He’s worked extremely hard. So I’m expecting good things from him.” Rose will be reexamined today as the team returns home after a five-game road trip.
  • Grimes made a statement in his return to the starting lineup on Sunday, Botte notes in a separate story. Grimes, who had been out of the rotation, handed out a career-high eight assists to go with 10 points and five rebounds. “I don’t think I ever thought I blew (my chance), he said. “I know who I am and the way Thibs feels about me, and the organization. I just had to wait for my opportunity, and it was gonna come. … You gotta be ready for the opportunity when it comes, and I feel like it came today and I made the most of it.”