Another year, another former Texas Longhorns center to hear his name called in the NBA Draft, with Jericho Sims becoming the latest after being selected by the New York Knicks with the No. 58 overall pick.
Sims becomes the fourth center drafted from Texas from the Shaka Smart era, joining Jarrett Allen (2017) , Mohamed Bamba (2018) and Jaxson Hayes (2019).
A four-year Longhorn with 119 career appearances and 77 starts to his name, Sims spent the first half of his college career in a reserve role, largely due to the NBA-caliber talent ahead of him — Bamba as a freshman and Hayes as a sophomore. The last two seasons as a starter, though, Sims averaged at least 9.2 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game — the scoring production was especially notable considering Sims played in a perimeter offense led my veteran guards.
More notable than the numbers, though, is the significant step forwards Sims took as a senior. He displayed a better grasp of how to make himself available around the rim, an elite ability to finish through and over — mostly over — competition, and a developing post game with a variety of moves with which the Knicks will be able to polish to make Sims much more than an athletic lob target.
Athletically, Sims has all the tools to carve out a role in the NBA. He’s 6;10, 245 points with tremendous bounce and plenty of strength, and his mobility can be an asset on each end of the floor, as he’s capable and willing to defend guards and wings after screens.
As is with his improved offensive polish as a senior, Sims could find himself as a quality second-string center sooner than later.
How quickly the Knicks can continue to develop his offense arsenal in and around the paint will determine how quickly Sims can become a contributor, and potentially, a reliable piece of their rotation.