Now in his third season with the New York Knicks, combo guard Immanuel Quickley is sporting career bests seemingly all across the board and is performing like one of the best bench players in the entire association.
With his astonishing growth as a player in 2022-23, the expectation is that the 23-year-old is slated to receive a rather lucrative payday once he’s eligible for a contract extension and, according to SNY NBA Insider Ian Begley, it would be “shocking” if the team that ultimately gives him the bag isn’t the Knickerbockers.
“It would be really shocking to me if the Knicks did not sign Quickley to a big extension and lock him in for several years,” Begley said.
Despite having been viewed as “expendable” earlier in the year, Begley noted that “starting in early December” Quickley went on to prove his worth as a focal point within Tom Thibodeau’s nine-man rotation and, in turn, is inching his way toward a long-term extension with the Knicks as well as perhaps some prestigious individual accolades along the way.
Knicks Guard in Running for Sixth Man of the Year
Not only is Begley of the belief that Immanuel Quickley could end up nabbing himself a lofty long-term extension with the New York Knicks as a result of his play this season, but, in a March 1 piece he went as far as to suggest that the guard could end up in a position where he takes home the 2023 NBA Sixth Man of the Year award as well.
“He’s one of three reserves with at least 620 points, 145 assists and 200 rebounds. The others? Malcolm Brogdon and Russell Westbrook. Brogdon, Westbrook, Tyrese Maxey, Norman Powell, Bobby Portis and Malik Monk also have strong Sixth Man candidacies,” Begley wrote. The Knicks are 26-14 since Tom Thibodeau cut his rotation to nine players. Quickley has been one of the biggest reasons behind that season-changing run. New York has a +11.1 net rating with him on the court in that span. He is averaging 13.6 points on 48 percent shooting (39 percent from three on 5 attempts per game) and has a 2.6-1 assist to turnover ratio.”
Since his article was penned the Knicks have added one more win to their record since Thibodeau cut the rotation down to nine players, as they blew out their cross-borough rival, the Brooklyn Nets later on that night, and, as has been the case during most contests this season, Quickley served as a driving force in the victory as he finished with 15 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal on 50.0% shooting from the floor and 40.0% shooting from distance.
From December 3 on, Quickley has been posting sensational averages of 14.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 3.0 assists on 46.6% shooting from the floor and 38.1% shooting from deep and ranks 27 in the association in plus-minus rating during this span, ironically one slot ahead of the club’s formerly coveted offseason target, Donovan Mitchell.
Knicks Big Takes Shot at Nic Claxton
Following the Knicks’ recent triumph over the Brooklyn Nets, starting big man Mitchell Robinson took a subliminal shot at opposing center Nic Claxton in a since-deleted post on his personal Twitter account, as he proclaimed himself to be the best pivot currently playing in New York.
“Fun fact: [I’m] the best center in New York and I’m standing 10 toes on that,” Robinson tweeted on March 2 (H/T @NBACentral).
In response to the tweet, Nets fans quickly came to the defense of Claxton, which, initially, resulted in the Knicks big responding with a tweet saying “y’all take stuff to serious,” though, eventually, he would end up praising them by saying he respects their “energy for the battle of ny.”
Robinson would finish off the game with an impressive all-around stat line of 13 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 1 block on a whopping 100% shooting from the field in 25 minutes of action while Claxton had 9 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 block.