After spending their first three draft picks filling out their backcourt depth, the New York Knicks pivoted to the frontcourt with the No. 58 selection on Thursday, grabbing big man Jericho Sims out of the University of Texas.
Sims had a solid college career, averaging 9.2 points 7.2 rebounds for the Longhorns in 2020-21, but began to further impress NBA scouts during the pre-draft combine when he registered a 44.5-inch max vertical. The leap matched Hamidou Diallo's 2017 mark for the second-highest in combine history.
Here's a look at how he fits in with the Knicks:
Texas Men's Basketball @TexasMBB
With the 58th pick of the NBA Draft, the <a href="https://twitter.com/nyknicks?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NYKnicks</a> have selected Jericho Sims!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TexasMade?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TexasMade</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBADraft?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBADraft</a> <a href="https://t.co/GMxEteX8Yw">pic.twitter.com/GMxEteX8Yw</a>
Bleacher Report Draft Expert Jonathan Wasserman's Scouting Report
Player: Jericho Sims
Pro Comparison: Robert Williams
Scouting Report: Physical tools and bounce alone might be enough for Sims to stick as a finishing specialist and energizer.
Julius Randle, PF: $20.7M (2022)
R.J. Barrett, SF: $8.2M (2023)
Kevin Knox, SF: $4.6M (2022)
Lucas Vildoza, PG: $3.3M (2024)
Immanuel Quickley, SG $2.2M (2024)
Mitchell Robinson, C: $1.8M (2022)
Norvel Pelle, PF: $1.1M (2023)
Quentin Grimes, SG: $1.8M (projected first-year salary, per RealGM)
Rokas Jokubaitis, PG/SG: (no projected first-year salary available)
Miles McBride, PG: (no projected first-year salary available)
Jericho Sims, C: (no projected first-year salary available)
Derrick Rose, PG: UFA
Alec Burks, SG: UFA
Nerlens Noel, C: UFA
Elfrid Payton, PG: UFA
Frank Ntilikina, PG: RFA
Reggie Bullock, SF: UFA
Taj Gibson, PF: UFA
Theo Pinson, SG: RFA
Jared Harper, PG: RFA
Tommy Beer @TommyBeer
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Knicks?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Knicks</a> fans - meet Jericho Sims, whom NY selected with the 58th pick in the draft. Insane combination of size, athleticism and leaping ability <a href="https://t.co/ZtV3SBqxtS">pic.twitter.com/ZtV3SBqxtS</a>
With Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson and Obi Toppin holding down the front court exceptionally well last season, the Knicks can take their time and try to develop Sims into a legitimate NBA center.
It remains to be seen how long that process will take. Rarely do centers come into the NBA as rookies looking like the best version of themselves. For Sims to be the exception he'll have to play well beyond his draft position.
As the Knicks focus on improving their backcourt, the front office made sure to pick up a forward in the draft who could pay dividends down the line with the right player development systems in place.