With Jalen Brunson stepping in as the team’s floor general, Quentin Grimes looking like an important long-term piece and the talented Deuce McBride still waiting in the wings, the New York Knicks suddenly have some soul-searching to do in the backcourt.
Barring a sneaky move for a sharpshooter or some kind of talent upgrade in the position group, it would seem that the club now has too many cooks (at 6-foot-3 and under) in the kitchen. And while veteran guard Derrick Rose would seem to be the most obvious trade candidate of the bunch, one of the team’s youngsters has also generated trade chatter recently.
Namely, third-year combo guard Immanuel Quickley who, according to a December report from The Athletic‘s Fred Katz, may have been gettable via trade for the price of a first-round pick.
Flash forward to now, though, and with Quickley continuing to hold down a key role for head coach Tom Thibodeau amid another playoff push in NYC, the Knicks look to have reversed course on their willingness to relieve themselves of the baller.
The Athletic: Knicks Have Become ‘Resistant’ to Trade Inquiries Involving Immanuel Quickley
On Tuesday, Katz updated the Knicks’ situation with his latest intel on their trade-deadline prospects. And, according to his sources, Quickley is trending well, quickly… toward “off limits” status.
“The Knicks have changed their tune on Quickley in recent weeks, according to teams in contact with them. New York is now far more resistant to move a third-year guard who has cemented himself as one of the group’s most important players over the past two months,” Katz reported.
“The Knicks started the season 10-13 and now sit at 25-23. Quickley has become one of head coach Tom Thibodeau’s most trusted players over this 15-10 stretch.”
Quickley showing out is hardly a new concept for the Knicks. During his rookie campaign in 2020-21, the Kentucky product played a key role in the team’s unlikely playoff berth. And he was arguably New York’s best player down the stretch of last season.
Over the Knicks’ final 22 contests of 2021-22, Quickley averaged a cool 16.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.0 steals per game and ratcheted up his shooting to the tune of 43.7% from the field overall and 39% from three-point range. He boasted an overwhelmingly positive net swing, too, as New York was 11.2 points per 100 possessions better when he was on the floor.
The 23-year-old played so well, in fact, that he managed to snag a couple votes for Sixth Man of the Year.
Knicks Won’t Pay a Team to Take Evan Fournier’s Contract
While Quickley’s prospects in the Big Apple have been trending upward, veteran wing Evan Fournier is on the opposite end of the spectrum. To date, the baller has made just a handful of appearances for the Knicks since being yanked from the rotation by Thibodeau in mid-November.
Despite the fact that he’s logging his lowest numbers since 2013-14 — at 6.8 PPG and 2.1 RPG — and doesn’t appear to be part of the Knicks’ long-term plans, however, team president Leon Rose apparently isn’t keen on parting with a draft asset in order to get some other team to absorb his deal.
New York is open to moving Fournier, but it has expressed no willingness to attach sweeteners to him just to get rid of his deal. It’s tried pairing him and [Cam] Reddish together in trades, one way to bring back larger salaries, but The Athletic hasn’t learned of any traction on deals structured that way.