The deadline came and went for the Knicks to extend guard Immanuel Quickley, who is entering his fourth season with the team. IQ has been eligible all summer for a new deal, but it looks like he will be going into the season with it unresolved.
Quickley raised his points per game from 11.3 to 14.9 last season and shot a 53.7 effective field goal percentage. The Knicks’ guard also contributed with 4.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and a steal per game. He was essential to their 47-win season, finishing first in team plus/minus at +283, which was +80 higher than Isaiah Hartenstein in second. IQ was +6.7 in win shares and +1.7 in box plus-minus, showing his value not only in stats but also in advanced metrics.
Unfortunately for Quickley, the Knicks have Jalen Brunson as the starter for the foreseeable future. The former Kentucky Wildcat thrived as a starter last season, averaging 22.6 points and 5.1 assists in 21 games. On the Knicks, it is unlikely he will ever get the minutes or volume he desires. Quickleys’ former teammate and fellow 2020 draftmate, Obi Toppin was traded to the Indiana Pacers this summer. Toppin had not been as successful in New York as Quickley, but he was never going to get the minutes he wanted with Julius Randle there. The new Pacers forward also did not sign an extension. We could be looking at a similar situation with Immanuel wanting to go to a team where he can consistently start and play heavy minutes.
As per ESPN’s Bobby Marks, if the Knicks did extend Quickley, it would’ve put a poison pill in his contract. This would’ve restricted what the Knicks could’ve gotten back for the 24-year-old in the event of a trade. Quickley will be a restricted free agent, meaning the Knicks could match any offer next summer. If a team comes over the top with a big offer for the guard, the Knicks could be in a tough spot.
Marks writes, “If they take a conservative approach, not only could the cost of Quickley’s next contract increase but trading him as a free agent becomes more difficult (he would have to agree on a sign-and-trade)”.
He’ll be making $4.1 million this season as he plays out his rookie contract and will generate serious interest around the league come next summer.
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