The New York Knicks may no longer be partaking in any on-court action this season, but big-time basketball is still being played in the Big Apple with the Liberty taking the early stages of the 2023 WNBA campaign by storm.
Though they may have landed the league’s top-billed free agent from this past offseason in Breanna Stewart and roster 2021 MVP Jonquel Jones, leading the charge for the club’s newly formulated Big-3 is All-Star guard Sabrina Ionescu who, during her latest outing, put forth a career-best performance and paid homage to Jalen Brunson with his famous three-finger celebration.
The gesture went on to circulate across the Knicks-centric newsfeed and wound up catching the attention of Brunson himself, who shouted out Ionescu on his Twitter page.
Through seven games played, the Liberty boast the league’s third-best record of 5-2, while Sabrina Ionescu finds herself sporting stellar averages of 15.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 1.1 steals.
Deemed by some as “Her,” amid Ionescu’s tremendous showing Friday the 25-year-old channeled the “Him” of the Knicks in Brunson, both with the gesture as well as with her play.
Jalen Brunson to Join Team USA
Soon, Sabrina Ionescu won’t be the only New York-based star guard playing top-tier basketball this summer, as Knicks stud Jalen Brunson has committed to playing for Team USA in the FIBA World Cup, according to NBA insider Marc Stein.
With this decision, he’ll be joining forces with fellow NBA talents such as Tyrese Haliburton, Anthony Edwards, Bobby Portis, and his cross-borough rival and former Villanova teammate in Brooklyn Nets wing Mikal Bridges, among others.
Brunson is coming off of a career-best campaign in 2022-23, where he finished the year off boasting impressive averages of 24.0 points, 6.2 assists, and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 49.1% from the field and 41.6% from deep.
Immanuel Quickley Being Eyed by Suns
According to a recent report by Yahoo Sports NBA insider Jake Fischer, Knicks sixth-man extraordinare Immanuel Quickley is being monitored by the Phoenix Suns as a potential replacement at the guard position for soon-departing, Chris Paul.
“Phoenix does hold Knicks Sixth Man of the Year finalist Immanuel Quickley in high regard, sources told Yahoo Sports, dating back to Quickley’s entry in the 2020 NBA Draft,” Fischer wrote.
Registering 28.9 minutes a night, the third-year guard posted impressive per-game averages of 14.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.0 steals while shooting 44.8% from the field and 37.0% from distance.
Quickley is eligible for an extension during this coming offseason and executives around the league have suggested that he could net a pretty payday.
Michael Scotto of Hoopshype noted in a May 25 piece that “his floor would be four years, $80 million,” while Spotrac’s Keith Smith believes the guard could land “$84 million with incentives that could bring it up to $90 million, no options.”
What’s worth monitoring when it comes to his upcoming negotiations with the Knicks is that Immanuel Quickley has publicly voiced his desire to serve as a full-time starting guard for a franchise, telling Jake Fischer “eventually, I want to be a starter down the line.”
Of course, New York’s starting one slot is already spoken for with Jalen Brunson running the show, which could limit Quickley’s possibility of nabbing a spot in the club’s first five lineup.