Before Immanuel Quickley took off and became a Sixth Man of the Year finalist, his name came up along with former MVP Derrick Rose in a potential New York Knicks‘ deal for Chicago Bulls‘ star Zach LaVine, according to SNY’s Ian Begley.
The trade talk, however, did not reach past the preliminary stage.
“When the Knicks and Bulls talked casually about a potential deal during the season (several weeks before the trade deadline), I was told that some with Chicago had interest in Immanuel Quickley,” Begley wrote in his latest SNY mailbag.
“…Derrick Rose was also among the players who were discussed as part of trade packages in those casual conversations between the Knicks and Bulls, per people familiar with the matter.”
Begley noted that “a Bulls spokesperson said the idea that Chicago had any discussions involving LaVine is “100 percent false.”
Coming off knee surgery in the last offseason, LaVine overcame a poor start and finished the season norming 24.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and nearly one steal with a 49/38/85 shooting split.
His strong finish helped the Bulls enter the play-in tournament despite being without their starting point guard Lonzo Ball (knee injury) all season. They were knocked off by the eight-seeded Miami Heat, currently leading the Boston Celtics, 1-0, in the Eastern Conference Finals.
LaVine previously played under Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota and credited the current Knicks coach for his breakout in the NBA during their lone season together.
“Look, I understand the business of basketball,’’ LaVine told the Chicago-Sun Times months before the Knicks hired Thibodeau in 2020. “Yeah, he traded me, but for that one season he did coach me, he gave me an opportunity. He put the ball in the hands of a 20, 21-year-old kid and said, ‘Go hoop.’ That’s bigger than the business of basketball.”
When Knicks hired Thibodeau, LaVine once again praised his former coach.
‘‘[His] style works,’’ LaVine told Chicago-Sun Times then. ‘‘He’s not a beat-around-the-bush type of guy. . . . Once you buy into his coaching, I mean, look at the track record. It’s pretty damn good.’’
LaVine was right as Thibodeau had worked his magic again, guiding the Knicks to their second playoff berth in his first three seasons with them.
Immanuel Quickley’s Rising Stocks
Yesterday’s price is not today’s price when it comes to Quickley.
Quickley’s stock quickly rose after the Bulls registered interest in him. He became a vital cog in the Knicks’ remarkable turnaround, which ended with a second-round exit, their best showing in a decade.
Quickley finished his third season, averaging career-best numbers of 14.9 points on 44.8% shooting from the field, 4.2 rebounds and 1.0 steals on top of 3.4 assists.
A sprained left ankle held him out of the last three games of the second round of the playoffs against the Miami Heat.
Nevertheless, Quickley finished a solid second behind Boston Celtics guard Malcolm Brogdon in the Sixth Man of the Year voting.
Derrick Rose’s Homecoming?
The Knicks have until June 24 to pick up Rose’s $15.6 million team option.
“The Knicks are likely to decline their team option on Rose for 2023-24,” Begley wrote in his latest SNY mailbag. “If they decline the option, Rose – and his salary – wouldn’t be part of any big trade.”
If Rose becomes a free agent, a Chicago homecoming could be one of his options, given the Bulls’ desperate need for a point guard.
Rose enjoyed his best years in the NBA with the Bulls, which peaked in 2011 when he became the youngest MVP in the league, three years after they made him the No. 1 overall pick.