The New York Knicks have been on a roller coaster for one season. They have almost taken one step forward and taken two steps back this season. In fact, the Knicks have failed to develop any form of consistency and have failed to establish themselves as an above-average club at either end of the floor. Currently, they have a record of 9-9 which is good enough for ninth place in the Eastern Conference. Here we’ll look at the Knicks’ most realistic trade targets after the first month of the 2022-23 season.
Of course, it’s too soon to give up this season and the Knicks have shown little interest in splitting this team. New York appears to be more of a buyer than a seller this trade season.
Still, the Knicks are reportedly looking to field several players on their trading block. This includes people like Evan Fournier, Derrick Rose, and Miles McBride. However, the one person most likely to be part of the deal is 23-year-old Immanuel Quickley.
Now let’s take a look at the Knicks’ most realistic trade targets beyond the first month of this season.
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) November 18, 2022
Oklahoma City Thunder 1st round pick
Immanuel Quickley, who shot a career-low 35.6 percent from the field and 27 percent from city despite a dismal start to the season, was mentioned in trade discussions.
According to The Athletic’s Fred Katz, the Knicks made Quickley available, but decided to make it a high draft pick for the third-year guard. Quickley was a 2020 first round pick. He showed flashing potential but failed to develop into a consistently productive player, especially on the offensive side.
Over his first three seasons, the Maryland native averaged 11.1 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.7 triples per game. He shot just 39.2 percent from the field, including 36.0 percent from beyond the arc. However, he is a reliable free throw shooter with an 88.2% free throw percentage.
However, his record has dropped noticeably this season. He is shooting 38.0 percent from the floor and just over 30.0 percent from the 3-point line. Of course, he’s still an important part of manager Tom Thibodeau’s rotation thanks to his defense. Quickley also makes a surprisingly good rebounder for a 6’3″ guard. He is holding 4.6 boards per game this season. Indeed, Thibodeau recently had some nice things to say about Quickley.
Thibodeau told Katz, “The hardest break to stop is when the guard gets a long rebound when studying transitions and just goes with it.” “You will automatically have an advantage. That break, I love when he blows up.”
The reality is that after Quickely’s first season, his offense and effectiveness have declined. On the flip side, however, he improved dramatically as a defender. He is one of the best help defenders on the squad and excels as a defensive ball handler. He sets the tempo and dives for the loose ball. Right now we can see Quickley as someone who has gone from being a one-dimensional instant offensive scorer to a player who does the dirty work. What value would that kind of player have in today’s NBA environment? What will he bring before the trade deadline? we can see
Knicks is about the big picture. Keep in mind that the Knicks have waited long enough in their pursuit of stars right before the young players they hoped would be at the heart of a big deal lose what makes them most attractive: low cost.
According to Spotrac, Quickley is making $2.3 million this season and is eligible for a rookie extension over the summer. As things stand, he will earn just under $4.2 million in 2023-24. It’s still a low enough salary package for someone with Quickley’s skill set and potential.
Also remember the Knicks are stocking up on picks. They seem to assign more value to their draft assets than real fringe players like Quickley. That means selling Quickley as a pick definitely works in NYK’s favor. League sources confirmed a lot. According to them, the Knicks are looking for a future first round pick this summer in exchange for Quickley, who is again eligible for a contract.
Of course, it’s unclear which team will be ready to deliver a first-round pick for Quickley. Recall that his lack of attack power can be an issue. Any team willing to take that much risk? Are any clubs going to pay him more over the next few years? One potential partner right now could be the Oklahoma City Thunder. He could use someone like Quickley off the bench to back up Shai Gilgeous-Alexander or Josh Giddey.
Note that first round picks are very important in today’s NBA, especially in the upcoming 2023 draft, which is expected to pile up. So who knows what other clubs will give the Knicks a first chance in exchange for Quickley? If the Knicks are serious about getting picks, adding a second or third player to the Quickley-centric trade could do the trick.
Of course, securing draft assets doesn’t necessarily mean the Knicks will use them in the actual draft. They could package these assets in another future deal for a bona fide, proven star. They failed to do so in the Donovan Mitchell Sweepstakes, but we think they will try again. Of course, they will try to star again in the future. Stocking up on draft picks would obviously make them great players in that vein.
We certainly expect the Knicks to remain aggressive in the trade market before the February trade deadline, whether or not they actually have to do with Quickley.