Over the past several years, the New York Knicks have managed to cultivate a rather impressive assortment of young and highly talented prospects, many of whom are still attached to their rookie-scale contracts.
Of this bunch, 23-year-old guard Immanuel Quickley seems to be the player who has proven himself the most within head coach Tom Thibodeau’s system.
Throughout his three-year tenure donning New York’s blue and orange threads, the Kentucky product has managed to post impressive averages of 26.5 points, 6.6 assists, 6.3 rebounds, and 1.4 steals per 100 possessions on 36.5% shooting from distance, all while playing a pivotal role off the bench.
Now, while this brand of production may have some assume that he’s a virtual lock to remain in tow heading into the future — baring any unforeseen blockbuster trades, of course –, recently Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney sat down with an anonymous NBA executive where the two of them discussed the idea of the Knicks pursuing a deal involving Quickley heading outbound.
The concept of such a deal was introduced when the executive mentioned that San Antonio Spurs veteran wing, Josh Richardson, could be a nice trade target for the Knicks to consider pursuing at some point this season and suggested that Leon Rose and company could easily put together a package to acquire him.
“I’d like Richardson for the Knicks, too, they need a good, solid veteran who plays both ways on the wing. They could give up a young guy or a pick,” the executive told Deveney.
With this, Deveney took things a step further and constructed the framework of a possible trade scenario that he believes could get the job done should the Knicks wish to pursue the 29-year-old.
New York Knicks receive:
- Josh Richardson
San Antonio Spurs receive:
- Immanuel Quickley
- Cam Reddish
Now, while this type of transaction would almost certainly be highly coveted by the Spurs and, in turn, is likely to be accepted if ever offered, there are many reasons why New York should strongly consider avoiding such an offer.
Knicks Would Give Up Far Too Much Potential
Josh Richardson has proven himself to be a fine player in the association throughout his eight-year career. An efficient two-way player, the former second-round selection boasts career averages of 12 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.1 steals per game on 36.5% shooting from deep.
Just last season, as Deveney pointed out in his article, Richardson went on to have a quietly good campaign for himself, finishing the year with averages of 10.2 points on 41.5% shooting from distance.
And yet, even with all the positive attributes attached to his game, the concept of swapping out players like Immanuel Quickley and Cam Reddish for his services just seems like it would be a bit much, especially for a team like the Knicks.
Even though New York will likely be gunning for a playoff spot this coming season, for the most part, their roster is one that appears to be gearing up for a long-lasting run of success, not for a win-now type of campaign.
For teams that find themselves in this latter category, acquiring a guy like Richardson makes a lot of sense, as he’s an already established two-way player at a position of great value for title contenders.
Though it may be hard for some to accept, the Knickerbockers are not viewed as a realistic threat to take home the 2023 Larry O’Brien trophy which, in turn, should have them prioritizing the development of their younger players such as Quickley and Reddish.
While Quickley’s production and contributions were already addressed earlier, even Reddish has the potential to be a top-flight talent in this league if he can put his well-documented potential together.
Though his counting stats of 6.1 points and 1.4 rebounds with New York are far from spectacular, the 22-year-old has shown flashes of promise in his limited showings with the team.
Particularly on the defensive end (two steals and just shy of a block per 100 possessions) and during his final full contest of the year on March 6 where he posted 17 points on 57% shooting from the floor, before going down for the year with a shoulder injury on March 7 of last season the former lottery pick certainly showed signs of being capable of developing into a quality two-way player within Tom Thibodeau’s scheme.
Now with a full offseason of rehabilitation under his belt, Reddish is coming into the new season looking to earn a new contract during next summer’s free agency period, as he’s entering the final year of his rookie deal.
This promise has already caught the eye of one MSG analyst, and should ultimately be seen as a major reason why the proposal discussed in Deveney’s article should not be considered.
Knicks Coach Sounds Off on Jalen Brunson
After New York’s October 4 preseason opener against the Detroit Pistons, head coach Tom Thibodeau couldn’t help but boast about how well the team’s newly acquired point guard, Jalen Brunson, performed in his first exhibition as a Knick.
“I loved the way he can control and manage the game,” Thibodeau told reporters about Brunson during a post-game press conference. “To me, that’s the number one function of a point guard.”
Seeing just under 20 minutes of action, Brunson finished the game as the second-leading scorer, dropping 16 points while also dishing out 5 assists on an incredibly efficient 77.8% shooting from the floor and 50% shooting from deep.