Home » The New York Knicks need to play their young guys next year

The New York Knicks need to play their young guys next year

by TLD

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 12: Obi Toppin #1 of the New York Knicks looks up at the scoreboard late in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Mavericks as he stands by teammates Quentin Grimes #6 and RJ Barrett #9 at Madison Square Garden on January 12, 2022 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The New York Knicks failed to make the postseason last year, missing out on everything, including the Play-In Tournament. Just one year removed from earning the fourth seed, they were sitting on the couch during the playoffs.

Most fans attributed that to Julius Randle’s decline and Kemba Walker’s burnout. However, while Tom Thibodeau got some of the blame, his rotational decisions didn’t get enough.

New York’s Summer League team has made it clear that the Knicks head coach needs to live in the future, not the past. Playing veterans like Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel, and others won’t get the team very far.

The New York Knicks need to play their young guys next year

Thibodeau and his staff wasted a ton of young talent last year as they continued to force their rotations to work. Now, with the Knicks’ Summer League success, it’s clear that was a silly decision.

Guys like Quentin Grimes, Jericho Sims, and Miles McBride are proving that they deserve rotational minutes in Summer League, just like Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley proved that they need more playing time at the end of last season.

While the Knicks have plenty of talent in players like Randle, Jalen Brunson, and Evan Fournier, it’s never been more clear that the time to trust the youth is right now.

Without even fully appreciating it, the Knicks have some of the best young players in the league. Grimes, Toppin, Quickley, and obviously RJ Barrett have all shown signs of breaking out, but they haven’t been able to.

Instead, the Knicks continued to play their veterans way too much last year. But if they want to make a run at the playoffs, they need to find some sort of balance.

If Thibodeau ends up benching Toppin, Quickley, Grimes, Sims, and McBride for too many minutes next year, the front office needs to have a serious talk with him.

By trading away Burks and Noel, it looks like the Knicks are finally succumbing to the reality that their younger players hold the keys to their franchise’s success.

That’s great. But it took them way too long to realize.

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