CHARLESTON, S.C. — Quentin Grimes added a second former NBA player to his list of offseason trainers.
Now he’s entering Year 3 with a desire to increase his responsibilities on offense, believing a green light from Tom Thibodeau will help expand his reputation from just a 3-and-D wing.
“I feel like everybody knows me as a shooter and a defender. So I’m always improving on that — shooting the ball at the highest level, defending at the highest level. But now it’s just getting more comfortable with the ball, making plays for myself, my teammates,” Grimes said at training camp Wednesday. “I see a read, I know that my teammates and my coaches have given me the trust to go out there this year and make the right play.”
Grimes conducted his annual workout with former All-Star Penny Hardaway in the summer, saying it lasted about 10 days.
More recently, he took lessons from JJ Redick, the former sharpshooter and current ESPN analyst.
The idea spawned from a conversation with Thibodeau and assistant coach Darren Erman, with Grimes understanding that Redick was always adept at the type of plays that will be designed for the Knicks guard.
“I know JJ Redick was one of the best shooters ever in this league. His conditioning was otherworldly, stuff like that. So I just tried to get in the gym with him, learn little things, how he would come off screens, pin downs, because I knew that would be some of the plays that were going to be run for me this season,” Grimes said. “So hopefully I’ll be prepared for them when I get my number called.”
Still, Grimes wants to do more than catch-and-shoot.
He envisions dribbling and playmaking this season, even if those opportunities are rare in a lineup with Jalen Brunson, RJ Barrett and Julius Randle.
“I feel like it’s a good thing and a bad thing [that other members in the lineup are ball-dominant],” Grimes said. “It’s a good thing for me because I can space the floor, create driving lanes for RJ, whoever has the ball. But like I said, Thibs and [the assistant coaches], we had conversations this season like if I got the ball out there and I can make a play, go make a play.
“I have the freedom out there to do what I do.He tells me if I have a shot, shoot it. So if any shot looks good to me, I’m gonna let it go. So I feel like it’s not really a matter of who has the ball, who doesn’t have the ball.”
On offense, Grimes spent most of last season hanging out on the perimeter. He averaged just 1.89 seconds with the ball per touch, and 1.1 dribbles per touch. By comparison, Brunson averaged, per touch, more than six seconds and 5.65 dribbles.
Grimes thinks his time with the rock will change.
“Just getting back to having the ball, like in high school,” he said.