Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau says Immanuel Quickley is now just indispensable

Immanuel Quickley, New York Knicks

Immanuel Quickley continued to enjoy Tom Thibodeau’s trust as part of the New York Knicks closing unit.

Over New York’s last 21 games, where they have won 15 games to turn their season around, Quickley is averaging 5.1 points in 10.2 minutes and carries a plus-8 on the plus-minus column in the fourth quarter.

Quickley played the entire fourth quarter against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday and tallied five of his 17 points off the bench to help the Knicks win their third straight.

“Quick was quick. Now he’s just indispensable.”

Tom Thibodeau on Immanuel Quickley during postgame via MSG Network

Quickley’s growth as a solid two-way player this season has increased his trade value. But by the same token, he’s proving to the Knicks he’s a keeper.

“The Knicks’ Immanuel Quickley has generated considerable external interest, league sources say, but the strong signals emanating from Gotham indicate that New York is increasingly reluctant to part with him. In December, various rival teams had the impression Quickley would be in play. That impression is evaporating now…”

Marc Stein via Substack

Since Thibodeau shortened his rotation 21 games ago, Quickley has averaged 15.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists with a solid 44/35/86 shooting splits.

Zooming out to the season, Quickley has become the Knicks’ fourth-most important player behind Jalen Brunson, Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson in win shares (2.7), VORP (value over replacement player), offensive win shares (1.4) and third in the team in defensive win shares (1.3), per Basketball Reference.

Quickley and Obi Toppin are extension-eligible this summer. But between the two 2020 Knicks’ draft picks, Quickley, the 25th overall pick, has quickly risen above the former lottery pick Toppin.

His indispensable tag could only mean Quickley is the player the Knicks will keep as part of their core moving forward, leaving Toppin as a likely trade candidate.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

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