Tuesday brought back the NBA and it also sent your New York Knicks down to Tarrytown to get some reps ahead of their season opener later today.
Everybody practiced, everybody is healthy, and everybody is under contract through at least the first day of July 2024. Yes, that includes Immanuel Quickley.
“At the end of the day, business is always business,” IQ said when asked about what happened before Monday’s deadline to reach a rookie-scale extension with the Knicks.
Immanuel Quickley: “At the end of the day business is always business. If both sides can’t come to an agreement, it’s nothing too much crazy with that but like I said, I’m focused on getting better tomorrow, getting better the next day, and it’s gonna be like that the whole year”— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) October 24, 2023
See, this was always going to happen.
The Knicks held Quickley hostage before the aforementioned deadline keeping him away from the mics and radio silent. That was not going to be the case on Tuesday’s return to practicing, and that’s exactly what happened. And beat reporters jumped at the first chance they had to get the opinion from the very own raw source.
The good thing, it seems, is that Quickley’s mindset is the same as it ever was. Truth be told, things might have changed massively following the non-extension decision made by the Knicks and Quickley’s agents, but that will only have an impact on the future of both parties more than eight months from now.
“Extension talks are over, I’m just focused on the season,” Quickley said. “Our team is going to have a great year, and I feel like I’m going to have a great year.”
That’s the most reasonable way to tackle this season, which is a contract-year type of season for Quickley. At the end of the day, the guard bet on himself whether he acknowledges it or not. He bet on himself by rejecting whatever money/term New York offered him, instead opting for entering free agent as a restricted FA next summer. Play cool, get paid. A very simple two-step process.
There were questions asked to Quickley about the Knicks valuing Jalen Brunson above him (obviously) and thus lowering the limits they were willing to get to with their extension offer. Some reporters won’t believe this, but hey, turns out IQ is a young, intelligent man, and knows the situation he’s in!
“Jalen’s a great player,” Quickley acknowledged. “I know my value, and he’s a great player, as well.”
Quickley thinks the way that he and Brunson can share the floor is “unique” in that the two playmakers can “play on and off the ball.”
Said IQ: “I know my value, and I know who I am, and I’m gonna continue to keep getting better.” And if that is the case, then everybody (for the full 2023/24 season, at the very least, and barring a trade) would benefit from it.
Many other members of Quickley’s 2020 draft class got paid handsomely with bags ranging from $260 million over five years to $30 million over four seasons. Quickley, for now, will have to open room for only $4.2 million in his bank account as that’s what he will get paid by the Knicks this campaign.
Who knows what will come after that?
“Happy for them. Excited for them.” Quickley said about his classmates. “Just because one door opens up for someone else doesn’t mean you’re not gonna get your blessing, as well.
“Never hate on nobody, because your door... your time might come.”
Tom Thibodeau, who was asked before the deadline about his thoughts on the whole drama (he wanted his guy to get paid by the Knicks) was asked again about it now that said extension is no longer in play.
“I don’t know [why an extension didn’t get signed],” Thibodeau said. “I love what he brings to our team. I love the way he works. So hopefully it works out.
“It’s the business side of basketball,” he added, “and hopefully at the end of the year, we can get back to it.” Quoth the coach: “We love Quick. So, have a great season, and then we sit down and we talk again.”
Quickley, 24, won’t have any “poison pill” in his deal this season, thus accounting for barely above $4 million in any trade the Knicks might go for later this year. That’s a huge plus for the organization if they planned on trading Quickley all along, of course, as it’s much easier to move him this way than with the extension signed. Just throw Evan Fournier’s expiring money into the deal, et voila.
“The Lord has his plan and we’re just going to stick with that,” Quickley said.
For now, that plan goes through Madison Square Garden and a season-opening matchup against the visiting Boston Celtics on Wednesday.
Time to move on, carry on.