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Tantalizing 2021 Knicks draft pick Rokas Jokubaitis joining Summer League roster



Tantalizing 2021 Knicks draft pick Rokas Jokubaitis joining Summer League roster

Rokas Jokubaitis, the intriguing Knicks draft pick from Lithuania, is coming back to Vegas. 

The 23-year-old guard will play for the Knicks Summer League squad, both an NBA source and Jokubaitis’ current professional team, Barcelona, confirmed to The Post on Wednesday. 

Jokubaitis was drafted 34th overall by the Knicks in 2021, two spots before team president Leon Rose chose Miles McBride.

The Knicks drafted Rokas Jokubaitis with the 34th pick in 2021. Associated Press

He played three Summer League games with the Knicks that year – totaling just 29 minutes – and left to play overseas with Barcelona, the Euroleague powerhouse. 

Jokubaitis didn’t participate in the last two Summer Leagues, so this month represents the first time he worked closely with the Knicks coaching staff in three years.

His availability for Summer League was secured after Lithuania was eliminated in the Olympic qualifiers Monday by Puerto Rico, as Jokubaitis’ agent told The Post that the guard would’ve otherwise had to skip Vegas to prepare for the Olympics. 

But now he’s free and joining a Knicks roster that is expected to also include Pacome Dadiet, the 2024 first-round pick, and Tyler Kolek, the second-round guard from Marquette.

Barcelona’s media director, Robert Güell, confirmed a report from Sport45 in Spain that the club gave “the green light” to Jokubaitis’s Summer League participation. 

Jokubaitis dribbles during a game in 2021. EPA

As a contributor with the senior sides of both Barcelona and the Lithuanian national team, Jokubaitis pedigree deserves attention in Vegas. 

Additionally, Jokubaitis’s future with Barcelona seems tenuous as his playing time dropped and the backcourt grew crowded with the addition of longtime NBAer Ricky Rubio.

Jokubaitis has one year left on his deal with Barcelona, but the team’s coach seemed non-committal about Jokubaitis’ return next season. 

“It’s a long summer,” Barca coach Joan Peñarroya told reporters. 

Jokubaitis defendind Isaiah Canaan in April 2024. AFP via Getty Images

At 6-4, Jokubaitis is a combo guard who is more of a scorer than facilitator. In the four Olympic qualifiers for Lithuania, he averaged 20.9 minutes, 8.8 points and 4 assists while shooting 40.7 percent. 

The Knicks open their Summer League slate Saturday against the Hornets. 

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