Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Knicks flip the script on trade plans for Immanuel Quickley

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With Jalen Brunson stepping in as the team’s floor general, Quentin Grimes looking like a key longtime player, and the talented Deuce McBride still waiting on the wings, the New York Knicks suddenly have a lot to do in the backcourt.

Barring a sneaky move for a sniper or some sort of talent upgrade in the positional group, it seems the club now has too many cooks (at 6ft-3 and under) in the kitchen. And while veteran security guard Derrick Rose seems to be the most obvious trade candidate of the group, one of the team’s youngsters has also been in trade talks of late.

Namely Immanuel Quickley, third-year combo guard who may have been commercially available for the price of a first-round pick, according to a December report by The Athletic’s Fred Katz.

Looking ahead, however, and with Quickley continuing to play a key role for head coach Tom Thibodeau in another playoff push in NYC, the Knicks appear to have reversed course in terms of their willingness to break away from the baller.

On Tuesday, Katz updated the Knicks’ situation with his latest information on their prospects for trade dates. And according to his sources, Quickley is trending well and fast… toward off-limits status.

“The Knicks have changed their minds about Quickley over the past few weeks, according to teams in contact with them. New York is now much more reluctant to trade a third-year guard who has established himself as one of the group’s most important players over the past two months,” reported Katz.

“The Knicks started the season 10-13 and are now 25-23. Quickley has emerged as one of head coach Tom Thibodeau’s most trusted players in that 15-10 stretch.”

Quickley Showing is hardly a new concept for the Knicks. During his 2020-21 rookie campaign, the Kentucky product played a key role in the team’s unlikely playoff berth. And he was arguably New York’s best player last season.

In the Knicks’ last 22 competitions of 2021-22, Quickley averaged a cool 16.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.0 steals per game and increased his shooting to 43.7% from field overall and 39 % of three. point area. He also boasted an overwhelmingly positive net swing, as New York was 11.2 points per 100 possession better when he was on the floor.

In fact, the 23-year-old played so well that he managed to garner a few votes for himself Sixth Man of the Year.

While Quickley’s prospects are looking up in the Big Apple, veteran winger Evan Fournier is at the other end of the spectrum. To date, the baller has only made a handful of appearances for the Knicks since being pulled from the rotation by Thibodeau in mid-November.

Despite the fact that he’s posting his lowest numbers since 2013-14 at 6.8 PPG and 2.1 RPG and doesn’t appear to be part of the Knicks’ long-term plans, team president Leon Rose doesn’t appear to be interested in having a draft asset split to get another team to accept his deal.

Katz reports:

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