Last year’s draft was a busy one for the Knicks and team president Leon Rose. They made multiple moves, trading back in the first round, then moving up in the second round. Altogether, there were three trades, but no big splash.
The immediate returns were minimal, though there remains optimism that at least a few of their four picks – Quentin Grimes, Miles McBride, Rokas Jokubaitis and Jericho Sims – can in time turn into something far more productive.
The Post takes a look at all four selections:
The lone first-round pick was by far the best Knicks rookie, showing 3-and-D potential. Limited to 46 games because of injuries and a bout with COVID-19, the former Houston star shot 38.6 percent from long range, made six starts and averaged six points in 17.1 minutes.
In time, the 25th overall pick could turn out to be a find, especially if he can stay healthy. He missed a full month with a partially dislocated kneecap, stunting his development somewhat.
The Knicks used the 34th overall pick, the first of their three second-round choices, on the southpaw from Lithuania with the intent of keeping him overseas. In 37 EuroLeague games (35 as a reserve) for Barcelona FC, Jokubaitis averaged 7.2 points and 2.6 assists, with 1.7 turnovers in 17 minutes. He did shoot a robust 56.8 from 3-point range (it is a shorter distance than in the NBA). His numbers were similar in the Spanish league, with his 3-point percentage down to 43.8 percent in 31 contests.
The Post’s Marc Berman previously reported the Knicks are leaning toward keeping Jokubaitis overseas next season, too. By signing him, they would have to eat into their $ 10 million mid-level exception, and cap space will be at a premium.
While what the Knicks ultimately get from the 21-year-old Jokubaitis remains uncertain, they may have erred in passing on Alabama wing Herbert Jones, taken one pick after Jokubaitis. In 69 starts for the Pelicans, the 6-foot-7 Jones posted 9.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and shot 47.6 percent from the field and was selected to the league’s All-Rookie second team after leading all first-year players in steals with 130.
There was genuine excitement when McBride, a projected first-round pick, fell to the Knicks at No. 36. He came to them with the reputation as a stout defender, but he was rarely used, averaging just 9.3 minutes in 40 games.
Despite injuries to point guards Derrick Rose and Kemba Walker, coach Tom Thibodeau preferred playing veteran wing Alec Burks out of position at the point to using McBride.
The former West Virginia star was dominant in six G-League games, averaging 27.8 points, 10.8 assists and shooting 48.1 percent from deep, and he did have some nice moments that showcased his dogged defensive mindset, such as his 15-point, nine- assist, four-steal performance in a win over the Rockets. But he didn’t do enough to earn the coaching staff’s trust.
The 6-foot-10 big man could be part of the solution in the middle if Mitchell Robinson walks in free agency. Taken with the 58th pick, Sims averaged 2.2 points and 4.1 rebounds across 41 games and five starts.
His playing time increased significantly after the All-Star break, and he had some strong performances, registering four double-figure rebounding games. Thibodeau has said he can be a playmaker out of the post, raving about Sims’ footwork and athleticism.