The New York Knicks are sitting around .500 on the season firmly in the play-in tournament hunt, but there’s not a ton of optimism they’ll be able to go on much further than that.
Adding Jalen Brunson helped the team out a lot, but it wasn’t enough to make the Knicks more of a contender, and they could be looking to unload a few pieces before the trade deadline instead of adding players.
According to The Athletic’s Fred Katz, calls have already begun regarding fours players: Immanuel Quickley, Derrick Rose, Evan Fournier and Cam Reddish.
Of the four names, Quickley might be the one that holds the most value considering his age and upside. It’s been reported the Knicks are seeking a first-rounder in exchange for him, but that might be tough to get, especially since Katz notes not all first rounders hold the same value.
“Remember, not all first-round picks are created equal,” he wrote. “There is a difference between a top-20 protected first-rounder that eventually turns into a couple of seconds and a more lightly-protected one that has a legitimate chance to come New York’s way.”
Can Quickley Be Moved?
Quickley is a big part of the Knicks’ rotation, but with so many players on the team vying for minutes, the team can afford to let go of some players to free up playing time.
While Quickley is one of those young players that could benefit from minutes, he could prove to be the odd-man-out going forward.
“In discussions where the 23-year-old is the standalone piece going out, New York has targeted a future first-round pick, league sources said,” Katz reports. “The team is overflowing with guys who could justify playing time. Moving on from one of the guards could free up space.”
Through 24 games this season, Quickley is averaging 10 points per game, so he can provide a good scoring burst for any team he goes to. With him also being 23 years old, it feels like he’s a strange name to be dangled in trades.
Katz says the young Knicks guards has some interest from teams around the league, but they might not be willing to meet the asking price.
“Quickley has fans in other front offices,” he wrote. “The question is, do they like him enough to pay the Knicks’ price?”
What Will Happen?
With the Knicks looking for a first-rounder, Quickley could very well find himself sticking around on the roster. Then again, Katz notes this is only in situations where he’s the lone player going out, so a package could make a trade more likely.
Katzs reports four players are being discussed in talks, so a team looking for additional scoring and shooting such as the Los Angeles Lakers could potentially add Quickley and Fournier in a hypothetical deal. This would almost certainly mean the Knicks are taking back Russell Westbrook, a player who looks revitalized coming off the bench for the Lakers.
Outside of that, it’s difficult to see teams around the league who would want to give up a first-rounder for Quickley, especially since contract extension time is coming up for him next season.