With the NBA Finals approaching along with a critical offseason for the Knicks, there’s still some reflecting on the season that has come to a close for New York and which key factors and players made that season what it was.

A lot is up in the air in this coming summer for the Knicks, including the fate of many key players.

Let’s take a look at which players played the biggest roles in the Knicks’ 2022-2023 season success, with letter grades for each player on New York’s roster.

Jalen Brunson // A+

There’s not much to be said about the Knicks superstar that hasn’t already been said this season. The new free agent signing in his first year in New York coming from Dallas immediately made a splash at the Garden from day one and never looked back as he ended up with an incredibly memorable first season at the Mecca. Brunson averaged 24.0 points per game in the regular season, along with 6.2 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game.

In the playoffs, he averaged 27.8 points per game, 4.9 rebounds, and 5.6 assists per game.

What was memorable above all else was Brunson’s incredible clutch gene, as he always thrived in pivotal moments in tight games throughout the year. Overall it was a spectacularly successful season for Brunson, to say the least, as he led New York from the very beginning to the bitter end, so he earned an A+.

Julius Randle // A-

Even though not many New Yorkers are in support of the Knicks’ lone all-star at the moment, it is important to remember he was an all-star for a reason, and he still had a successful regular season. Julius Randle averaged 25.1 points per game, an impressive 10.0 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game in the season while playing in 77 games as he avoided any injury until the final stretch of the season. Those are excellent numbers for Randle in the regular season, and he had his share of big moments in the clutch as well. For example, we all remember his game-winning three in the final second in Miami late in March. However, his numbers dipped when the playoffs came. Randle averaged 16.1 points per game in his 10 playoff games, 8.3 rebounds, and 3.6 assists.

It was another unmemorable playoff performance for Randle, which left him on the bad side of most, if not all, of the Knicks fanbase. Overall it was a successful regular season for Randle with good numbers, but attitude problems, lack of hustle at times, and a poor playoff performance brings his grade to an A-.

RJ Barrett // B

Barret’s regular season was a mixed bag as the 22-year-old underperformed at times in the first year of his 100 million dollar contract, finishing with an average of 19.6 points per game. However, RJ had a good postseason performance as he was one of the only Knicks who didn’t see his three-point shooting drop drastically in the second round, and overall had a solid performance in the Knicks’ 11 playoff games. It wasn’t perfect for the 100 million-dollar man in the first year of his contract, but he closed it out strong and earns a B for his season grade.

Mitchell Robinson // B+

The Knicks’ big man was troubled with injuries throughout the year, as he only played in 59 games in the regular season. He averaged 9.4 rebounds per game along with 1.8 blocks in the regular season, which both stayed almost the same in his 11 playoff games as he averaged 9.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.

Robinson controlled the glass in a hugely successful series against Cleveland but struggled against Miami. Overall a solid year for the big man, but not perfect as he earns a B+.

Quentin Grimes // B

Grimes had a successful year stepping into the starter role with confidence and playing well throughout the season, averaging 11.3 points per game in 71 games played.

A somewhat lack of consistency and disappointing playoffs brought the grade down a bit, but overall a solid year with promise for the future earns Quentin a B.

Immanuel Quickley // A

Quickley finished second in the sixth man of the year voting behind Malcolm Brogdon, as the Knicks 2020 draft pick definitely took a leap in a successful season. Despite struggling early in the season, Quickley went on a remarkable run down the stretch of the season, with some incredibly memorable performances, including a 40-point in late March against the Rockets.

The playoffs were a struggle along with the early season, but it was overall a huge year for Quickley as he took a leap in the right direction, earning him an A.

Josh Hart // A

The Knicks trade deadline acquisition was immediately huge for New York as he kicked the team into high gear, bringing new energy into an already electric atmosphere at the Mecca. Hart finished his regular season with New York averaging 9.8 points per game, followed by 10.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game in the playoffs.

Hart showed reluctance to shoot at times in the second round, which hindered the Knicks’ offense, but other than that, there is very little to complain about Josh Hart as he was a huge deadline acquisition for New York, earning an A.

Isaiah Hartenstein // B+

The Knicks’ newly signed center played in all 82 games this year, logging solid numbers with 6.5 rebounds and 5.0 points per game. He stepped in for an injured Robinson and played a key role in many close wins throughout the season.

Overall a good season for the center in his first year with New York, earning a B+.

Obi Toppin // B-

In his third year, Obi Toppin seemed to be more comfortable and found some success but finished with modest numbers averaging 7.4 points per game in the regular season and a similar 7.0 in the playoffs.

Not an awful year by any means, but not the leap the Knicks’ third-year forward was looking for, as he earned a B-.

Deuce McBride // B

McBride lacked consistent playing time but was a solid perimeter defender throughout the season.

Poor shooting overall lowers his grade, but his defense was positive for New York whenever he stepped on the court, earning him a B.

Jericho Sims // A-

Sims was a solid second-year player for the Knicks this season and stepped up whenever injuries happened, and he was needed, as he even started several games.

Sims finished with a modest offensive number but was solid defensively, earning an A- for his season.

Evan Fournier // D-

After the Knicks’ 10-13 start, Fournier was out of the Knicks’ rotation and saw very little playing time for the rest of the season. He finished with 6.1 points per game in 27 games played, and even he has said he is going to be traded this offseason.

Derrick Rose // D

Similarly to Fournier, Rose was taken out of the Knicks rotation after their poor start and did not play much for the rest of the season, except for when the Knicks built a large lead, and the Garden crowd could coerce Thibodeau to bring in the beloved vet to play a few minutes.

Rose finished with 5.6 points per game in 27 games played, and unfortunately, if he has a bounce-back year and returns to something close to his old form it likely won’t be in New York, as he earns a D.

Tom Thibodeau // A-

In his third year as coach of the Knicks, Tom Thibodeau led the team to heights previously unreached and, throughout the season, made adjustments necessary for the team to prosper and showed tremendous growth down the stretch of the season. He trusted the young guys more, and after the rocky start to the season, he was able to narrow down the rotation to what it should be, which immediately led to huge success for this team.

Overall a good year for the third-year Knicks coach and all-time great coach, making adjustments and changing the rotation leading to success, earning him an A-.

Team // A+

In a year where most expected the Knicks to barely sneak into the play-in, New York far outdid any expectations as they finished 47-35 as the 5 seed in the East, won their first playoff series in a decade, and built a new winning culture that hasn’t been seen with this franchise in a long time.

A superstar was born, and hope for the future is at a high it hasn’t been in years—an overall triumphant year for New York and its key players, earning the Knicks an A+.

Photo: Eric Espada/Getty Images

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