Last year’s draft was busy for the Knicks and team president Leon Rose. They made multiple moves, going back in the first round and then going up in the second round. In total, there were three exchanges, but there was no big fuss.
Immediate returns were minimal, though there remains optimism that at least some of his four picks (Quentin Grimes, Miles McBride, Rokas Jokubaitis and Jericho Sims) could develop into something far more productive over time.
The Post takes a look at the four picks:
The only first-round pick was by far the Knicks’ best rookie, showing 3-y potential. Limited to 46 games due to 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.
Over time, the 25th overall pick could become a find, especially if he can stay healthy. He missed a full month with a partially dislocated patella, which stunted his development a bit.
The Knicks used the 34th overall pick, the first of their three second-round picks, on the left-hander from Lithuania with the intention of keeping him overseas. In 37 EuroLeague games (35 as a reserve) with FC Barcelona, Jokubaitis averaged 7.2 points and 2.6 assists, with 1.7 turnovers in 17 minutes. He shot a robust 56.8 from 3-point range (that’s a shorter distance than in the NBA). His numbers were similar in the Spanish league, with his three-point percentage dropping to 43.8 per cent in 31 games.
The Post’s Marc Berman previously reported that the Knicks are also leaning toward keeping Jokubaitis overseas next season. By signing him, they would have to burn through their $10 million midlevel exception, and salary-cap space will be slim.
While what the Knicks will ultimately get from the 21-year-old Jokubaitis remains uncertain, they may have been wrong to move to Alabama wing Herbert Jones, a one-time draft pick after Jokubaitis. In 69 starts for the Pelicans, the 6-foot-7 Jones had 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 a reputation as a strong defender but was rarely used, averaging just 9.3 minutes per game. 40 games.
Despite injuries to point guards Derrick Rose and Kemba Walker, coach Tom Thibodeau preferred to play veteran end Alec Burks out of position at the point rather than use 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 had some good moments that showed his stubborn defensive mindset, like his 15 points, nine shots. assist, yielding four steals in a win over the Rockets. But she didn’t do enough to earn the trust of the coaching staff.
The 6-foot-10 big man could be part of the solution in the middle if Mitchell Robinson enters free agency. Taken with the 58th pick, Sims averaged 2.2 points and 4.1 rebounds in 41 games and five starts.
His playing time increased significantly after the All-Star break and he put in some solid performances, posting four double-figure rebounding games. Thibodeau has said he can be a post playmaker, raving about Sims’ footwork and athleticism.