Knicks wowed by Quentin Grimes as Trey Murphy III climbs up draft boards

While Knicks president Leon Rose has a bundle of options, including packaging their Nos. 19 and 21 picks, they can also keep their picks and sort it out later.

While the Knicks reportedly are working out Virginia swingman Trey Murphy III Tuesday, another wing who can shoot and defend wowed team brass two weeks ago at their Tarrytown facility, The Post has learned.

Quentin Grimes, the former 6-foot-4 Kansas shooting guard who transferred to Houston, is on the Knicks’ radar at No. 19 or 21.

A month ago, Grimes, a junior, was thought to be more of very late first-round or early second-round selection. The Knicks have the 32nd pick, but it looks doubtful Grimes will still be there.

Neither will Murphy III. Both 21-year-old transfers are rising up the boards. It was only four weeks ago Murphy, a transfer from Rice to Virginia last season, contemplated returning to the Cavaliers.

According to a source, the Knicks like Grimes’ size, shooting and toughness on defense. He was one of three NCAA players this season to hit 100 3-pointers – and he shot 40.3 percent from 3, averaging 17.9 points.

Grimes also is one of just two NCAA players who ranked in the top 10 in offensive and defensive rating, and scouts deem him as NBA ready.

Houston wing Quentin Grimes wowed the Knicks during a workout.
Getty Images

While Knicks president Leon Rose has a bundle of options, including packaging their Nos. 19 and 21 picks to trade up into the early teens for a player such as James Bouknight or an established point guard (Collin Sexton), they can also keep their picks and sort it out later.

Scouts don’t view Grimes as a potential star, but at the NBA draft combine last month, he likely played his way into first-round consideration as a solid NBA role guy.

It’s been an odd journey for Grimes, as he was slated as a one-and-done lottery-pick stud when he came to the Jayhawks as a freshman. He tested the draft waters but transferred to Houston after a disappointing freshman year.

At Houston, Grimes reinvented himself more as a potential role guy and complimentary shooter with passing skills. The Knicks’ last draft pick from Houston was second-rounder Damyean Dotson in 2017.

The 6-foot-9 Murphy also is a transfer after playing two years at Rice, which is also in Houston. Murphy moved to the ACC last season, averaging 11.4 points, and shot 43.3 percent on 3-pointers. The knock on Murphy is he’s not considered an elite defender or ballhandler.

Virginia wing Trey Murphy III (r.) is rising on NBA draft boards.
Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Still, a handful of mock drafts have the Knicks taking Murphy at 19, based on Tom Thibodeau’s remark at the draft combine the Knicks are looking “for wings and guys who can shoot.” Jonathan Macri of Knicks Film School first reported Murphy’s Tuesday workout.

The Post has reported Oregon’s wing Chris Duarte is also a consideration.

The Lakers reportedly have a lot of interest in Murphy and have the No. 22 pick — one slot after the Knicks’ second pick. At a Lakers workout recently, Murphy said his goal is an All-Star future. The Knicks didn’t interview Murphy at the NBA Combine.

“In my first year obviously you can’t control a lot,” Murphy said. “It’s up to your effort and energy, and I’m going to have to learn and make my adjustments. But over time, I want to become an All-Star. I want to be really good in the game of basketball, and I want to play for a long time.”

This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Marc Berman

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