Knicks Guard on Suns’ Radar as Potential Chris Paul Replacement

Chris Paul, New York Knicks

Getty Julius Randle #30 of the New York Knicks holds back Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns.

New York Knicks‘ backup guard Immanuel Quickley is one of the potential replacements for Chris Paul in Phoenix, according to Yahoo Sports NBA insider Jake Fischer.

“Phoenix does hold Knicks Sixth Man of the Year finalist Immanuel Quickley in high regard, sources told Yahoo Sports, dating back to Quickley’s entry in the 2020 NBA Draft,” Fischer wrote.

The Suns have until June 28 to decide whether to waive, stretch, guarantee or trade Paul and his $30.8 million salary for next season.

Quickley, who lost to Boston’s Malcolm Brogdon in the Sixth Man of the Year race, took a major leap this season. The 25th pick of the 2020 NBA Draft, Quickley overcame a slow start to the season and finished with career-highs in minutes (28.9), scoring (14.9), field goal shooting (44.8%), rebounds (4.2) and steals (1.0).

He showed a glimpse of how good he could be as a starting point guard when he averaged 22.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists while shooting 47% from the field and 40% on 3-pointers in 21 spot starts this season as the Knicks compiled a 12-9 record during those games. 

In March, Quickley told Fischer that he does not want to get stuck on the bench.

“I don’t want that to be what this is,” Quickley said. “I don’t want everybody to think I just want to be a microwave guy. I don’t want to give that impression for my career. Because eventually, I want to be a starter down the line. You don’t work your whole life to … you know? But I’ll do whatever the team needs me to do. It’s about winning, at the end of the day.”

Quickley is extension-eligible this summer and executives around the league believes “his floor would be four years, $80 million,” according Michael Scotto of Hoopshype. Spotrac’s Keith Smith believes Quickley could get “$84 million with incentives that could bring it up to $90 million, no options.”

Other options for Phoenix are Celtics’ reserve guard Payton Pritchard, who is extension-eligible like Quickley, Sacramento’s Davion Mitchell, Washington’s Monte Morris and Miami’s playoff breakout star Gabe Vincent, according to Fischer’s league sources.

Josh Hart Recruiting Donte DiVincenzo to Knicks

Josh Hart is likely re-signing with the Knicks as he’s already recruiting his former Villanova teammate Donte DiVincenzo to join him and Jalen Brunson in New York.

The Golden State Warriors reserve guard has a $4.7 million player option which he could decline more guaranteed money in a longer deal as an unrestricted free agent.

“Those [Villanova] guys in the league, I’m trying to get them to NY,” Hart told Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks in a one-on-one interview posted on June 5. “[Donte], that’s my guy. I was talking to him the other day.”

The trio won a national championship together at Villanova in 2016.

Suns Hire Former Knicks Coach

Former Knicks head coach David Fizdale will be joining Frank Vogel’s staff with the Suns, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Fizdale was the first coaching hire of former Knicks president Steve Mills and outgoing general manager Scott Perry. He lasted only one-and-a-half season in a tumultuous tenure in New York, compiling an 21-88 overall record before getting fired on December 6, 2019.

“Fizdale had taken to the front office turn in his career, but the lure of reuniting with Vogel — whom he had worked under with Lakers — and coaching a Suns franchise with Devin Booker and Kevin Durant turned out to be too much to pass up,” Wojnarowski wrote.
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