Jericho Sims shines in Knicks’ NBA summer league opener

LAS VEGAS — Ironically, with all the larger Knicks names available at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center on Sunday for his or her summer league opener, the neon outing got here from their unheralded 58th choose of the second spherical.

Texas massive man Jericho Sims, the rookie who signed a two-way contract earlier in the day, was good — actually — and outperformed their different three draft picks.

Sims, the 6-foot-10 high-flyer who began at middle versus Toronto, electrified as he made all six of his pictures for 12 factors and picked up eight rebounds. The 22-year-old lit up the gang with a late alley-oop dunk on a lob from Immanuel Quickley.

That was Quickley’s main spotlight. Otherwise, Quickley (5 of 17) led a Knicks brickfest in their opener, shedding a 89-79 blowout to Toronto.

The Knicks shot simply 37 %. Sims, all inside, shot 100% — a basic defensive specialist and rim-runner on offense.

Sims’ two-way contract means he can play a most 50 NBA video games. If that is what he’s about, although, Sims’ two-way G League contract could also be ripped up in some unspecified time in the future through the season.

Jericho Sims
The Knicks’ Jericho Sims goes up for a shot throughout a summer league sport on Sunday.
NBAE through Getty Images

“That’s what that they had deliberate for me,’’ Sims stated of his contract. “Right now. I can do different issues, however [rim-runner] is what they need me to do proper now.’’

That’s form of the function the Knicks would need from their 2020 lottery choose, energy ahead Obi Toppin, who bought off to a sluggish begin Sunday, lacking his first 4 pictures however recovered. He completed with 24 factors on 10 of 21 taking pictures however was simply 2 of 10 from 3.

“Jericho, man, does he soar actually excessive,’’ Toppin stated. “Jericho is a sponge and likes to be taught and get higher. He’s going to be a very good participant.’’

The scouting report has Sims as a defensive specialist, however he was lively and productive on the offensive finish, operating the ground and hitting inside with poise.

Late in the opening half, he scored as a trailer on the quick break with a floater in the lane — a shot middle Mitchell Robinson nearly by no means makes an attempt. Sims’ worth will improve if the Knicks determine to commerce Robinson earlier than he turns into an unrestricted free agent in 2022.

“I used to be content material,’’ Sims stated. “But it’s extra about what we’re doing as a staff.’’

Early in the second half, Sims grabbed a rebound and began a quick break on his personal, exhibiting some ballhandling talent. But the alley-oop on a pick-and-roll with Quickley with thre minutes left was the sport’s spotlight.

“I knew one thing like that was going to come back,’’ Sims stated. “They can’t guard us each.’’

Sims is a person of few phrases however he’s already acknowledged shock he fell to 58 — the third-to-last choose of the draft.

“I used to be advised something can occur however I used to be advised 25-to-40,’’ Sims stated. “So … ’’

It was gorgeous the Knicks really got here away from the draft with doubtlessly 4 rookies. It was presumed the Knicks would possibly simply commerce the 58th choose after snatching Quentin Grimes, Miles McBride and Rokas Jokubaitis.

But buying and selling a choose that deep is tough as a result of the return could have too many protections on it. And it grew to become a no brainer when Sims slipped to 58.

“I’m trying ahead to getting as a lot expertise as I can,’’ Sims stated. “Whether that be in the G-League proper now or the principle roster.’’

Whether Sims really performs with Westchester stays to be seen, however he’s not presently on the 15-man NBA roster.

“Jericho has the instruments that may assist us through the course of the 12 months,’’ Knicks summer league coach Dice Yoshimoto stated. “He’s put a whole lot of time in the health club, has accomplished an incredible job at coaching camp.’’

As for the Knicks’ different three 2021 draft picks, first-rounder Grimes, chosen twenty fifth, scored on his first contact — a 3-pointer from the best wing — however completed with simply 9 factors. Second-round choose McBride additionally added 9 factors.

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