The New York Knicks are 6-1 in the new year and, at sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings, are expected to deal for a player or two by the February 9 trade deadline.
According to Marc Stein, other teams willing to deal with the Knicks appear to covet third-year point guard Immanuel Quickley.
“The Knicks’ Immanuel Quickley has generated considerable external interest, league sources say, but the strong signals emanating from Gotham indicate that New York is increasingly reluctant to part with him,” Stein wrote January 14 on his Substack.
Is Immanuel Quickley Untouchable?
Quickley has played a big role for the Knicks, averaging 27.1 minutes per game in what has been his best season as a pro. Through 45 games, his minutes, points (12.4), rebounds (4.0) and shooting percentage (42%) are all career highs. Quickley has been splitting time between both guard spots and he’s appeared in the starting lineup eight times this season, illustrating his flexibility.
In November, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that Quickley was considered a candidate for trade.
“The Knicks have shown a willingness to discuss Derrick Rose and Immanuel Quickley in trade talks, league sources say, as a way to sort out the team’s glut at the guard position over the course of the season,” Charania tweeted on November 18.
But as Quickley has blossomed into an essential rotation player and the Knicks have evolved into a playoff contender has made it possible that New York has shifted course on trade talks involving Quickley.
“As the season goes on, the onus is shifting more and more onto only six guys: the five usual starters, plus Quickley,” The Athletic’s Fred Katz wrote on January 17. “The Knicks have become far more resistant to trading Quickley, who they were making calls about earlier in the season, before the team took off on this 15-7 run and before Quickley solidified himself as one of Thibodeau’s top six.”
Immanuel Quickley Concerned About His Future?
With Jalen Brunson, Quentin Grimes and RJ Barrett all on the team, Quickley might find it difficult to secure a starting spot, the same hurdle facing power forward Obi Toppin.
finding a consistent starting spot will be tough for him.
Quickley’s best bet might starting for another team, according to an NBA executive.
The executive, speaking anonymously to Heavy Sports’ Steve Bulpett, said Quickley is viewing the trajectory of Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey, one of the best young guards in the league, as one that he could follow. Maxey, who was drafted by the 76ers in 2020, has had the benefit of developing his game while playing alongside superstars James Harden and Joel Embiid.
“The problem is Quickley sees what Tyrese Maxey is doing 80 miles south of there and he thinks, ‘Hey, I’m every bit as good as Tyrese. The only difference is he’s had opportunity and I haven’t,’” the exec said. “So he’s worried that the Knicks will never commit to letting him do what he wants to do. But he would bring back some value if they ever decided to trade him.”