The New York Knicks announced early Tuesday morning that rookie Quentin Grimes has been added to the COVID-19 protocols.
He will miss Tuesday’s crucial home showdown against the NBA’s top team, the Golden State Warriors (7:30 p.m. EST). New York (12-15, out of the play-in picture) will also be without Obi Toppin and star R.J. Barrett, who both remain in the COVID-19 protocols, via ESPN’s Tim Bontemps.
Grimes was drafted 25th overall by the Los Angeles Clippers, but he was eventually traded to New York. Grimes has suited up in 14 games, averaging 3.6 points, 0.9 rebounds, and 0.4 assists per game.
The Knicks, losers of three straight, will have it tough against the powerhouse Warriors without Barrett, Toppin, and Grimes.
Entering play on Tuesday, the Knicks sit just one game behind the Toronto Raptors (13-14) for the final play-in berth. The season is far from over, but the Knicks will have to get on a hot streak at some point if they’re to clinch a second straight postseason berth.
After playing host to the Warriors, the Knicks will embark on a two-game road trip that begins on Thursday against the Houston Rockets (8:00 p.m. EST).
New York will then visit TD Garden for a meeting with the rival Boston Celtics (7:00 p.m. EST) on Saturday night before returning to Madison Square Garden for a three-game homestand.
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Knicks Reportedly Interested In 76ers’ Ben Simmons
Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Ben Simmons is the biggest name on the trade block, and the struggling Knicks are reportedly interested.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic (subscription required), the Knicks “are among the teams interested in Simmons”.
Charania noted that the Cleveland Cavaliers, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Portland Trail Blazers, and Sacramento Kings also have interest in the No. 1 selection from the 2016 Draft.
Back in September, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Simmons informed the 76ers that he doesn’t plan on playing for the franchise again. Simmons, who hasn’t played a game this season, remains sidelined as he deals with his mental health.
Simmons has earned All-Star selections in each of the last three seasons. Along with Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris, Simmons has helped the 76ers grow into one of the Eastern Conference’s elite clubs following a lengthy rebuilding process.
Philadelphia finished with the best record in the Eastern Conference last season (49-23), but they’ve predictably struggled without their two-way superstar. The 76ers sit at 15-13 on the season, which places them sixth in the Eastern Conference.
The reigning Atlantic Division champions are 4.5 games behind the surging Brooklyn Nets for the division and the conference’s top seed.
The struggling Knicks could certainly use a player of Simmons’ caliber. But it’s unclear if they actually have the pieces to swing a deal with a division rival. Multiple drafts picks and quality roster players will certainly be necessary.
Needless to say, the Simmons trade watch will remain a hot topic until a resolution is reached, though there’s no timeline on that.
Teams Reportedly “Inquiring About” Kevin Knox
In the same report, Charania stated that “teams are inquiring about Knicks forward Kevin Knox”.
Charania noted that Knox “has rival executives wondering about the plan for the 22-year-old in New York.” Knox, who was drafted ninth overall in 2018, is enduring the least productive season of his young career.
The 6-foot-7 forward hasn’t started in any games this season. He’s seeing just 7.3 minutes per contest (seven-game appearances). Knox is averaging a mere 3.4 points and 0.3 assists per game.
It makes sense for the Knicks to give Knox a fresh start. Now in his fourth season, it’s quite evident that Knox isn’t going to pan out as a regular starter in New York.
General manager Scott Perry should be busy one way or another leading up to the trade deadline. Will he look to sell with an eye on the future, or will Perry try to add some pieces that can help the Knicks push for a playoff spot?