The Knicks may have stunned and disappointed Spike Lee and the rest of their fans by trading their first two picks in the NBA Draft, but they hope their initial pick pays dividends down the line.
After trading picks 19 and 21, the Knicks selected Houston guard Quentin Grimes at No. 25.
The 6-foot-5, 205-pound Grimes should help the Knicks space the floor and they like that he has overcome some adversity in his career, sources said.
Grimes, 21, averaged 17.8 points and 5.7 boards and shot 40 percent from 3-point range en route to earning AAC co-Player of the Year and AP Third-Team All-America honors as a junior. His older half brother, Tyler Myers, is a 6-foot-8 defenseman for the Vancouver Canucks of the NHL.
“He brings toughness and is an all-around good player,” Houston coach Kelvin Sampson told me. “He is a tremendous competitor and a big shot-maker. His xperiences have made him a better player and man. I’m so happy and proud of him!!”
Following a pedestrian freshman season at Kansas where he averaged 8.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game, Grimes got an immediate waiver to play Houston, as a sophomore.
As a junior, it was Grimes’ deep straight-away 3-pointer with 2:38 remaining that led Houston to a 63-60 win over Rutgers during the NCAA Tournament in the Midwest Second Round. Grimes’ 3-pointer, which came after he missed two free throws, capped off a 22-point performance (7-for-15 FG, 5-for-9 3FG, 3-for-6 FT) which helped stave off Rutgers’ comeback bid.
He then went to the NBA Draft Combine where he helped his stock.
“I don’t think anybody at the NBA Combine helped themselves more than Quentin Grimes,” ESPN’s Jay Bilas said on air. “That’s what made him into a first-round pick.
“I would refer to him as a workhorse. He was expected to be a lottery pick coming out of high school and had some rough rides with the Jayhawks but really reinvented himself under Kelvin Sampson. He became more gritty defensively and can really shoot it. He shoots well over 40 percent from three. He shot a lot of threes, puts it on the deck pretty well.
“I wouldn’t call him a great athlete, not super lateral quick, but he can play and he’s tough.”
KNICKS ADD WEST VIRGINIA GUARD DEUCE McBRIDE
The Knicks added another tough defensive-minded guard in West Virginia’s Deuce McBride at No. 36.
The 6-2 Ohio native averaged 15.9 points, 4.8 assists and 3.9 rebounds for coach Bob Huggins.
“Deuce is a winner who brings toughness, a love for the game and is a true professional,” West Virginia assistant Larry Harrison told me. “The Knicks got a good one!”
Bilas loved the pick from a defensive standpoint.
“They’re going to get some real toughness, he is an excellent defender,” Bilas said on air. “He’s very good on the ball, very aggressive with his pressure, very good lateral quickness and a ton of grit.”