After an impressive year where Immanuel Quickley was the runner-up for the NBA’s Sixth Man of The Year award, the New York Knicks find themselves in a difficult position regarding his long-term future with the franchise.
A Close Call Last Season and Rising Trade Value
Quickley was nearly traded last season, but a strong performance in the second half propelled the Knicks into the second round of the playoffs and kept him on the team. Now, with his value skyrocketing, the Knicks must weigh the benefits of retaining him or cashing in on his high market value. Furthermore, Quickley is now eligible for a contract extension, forcing the Knicks to ponder the viability of a hefty financial commitment.
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Quickley’s Expectations and Potential Compromise
According to Sean Deveney of Heavy.com, Quickley is reportedly eyeing a “nine-figure” total salary extension. However, newer insights suggest that the Knicks might not have to meet these lofty demands to keep Quickley on board. Michael Scotto of HoopsHype indicates that a $20 million per year contract might be within reach, aligning with the expected rate for a backup guard of Quickley’s caliber.
Scotto wrote, “The Knicks would consider an extension for Quickley around $20 million per year, league sources told HoopsHype. Should Quickley play himself into a higher average annual salary, the Knicks may consider trading him as part of a package to acquire a star player.”
Balancing Act: Salary Cap Management and Star Acquisition
It’s clear that the Knicks are cautious of creating a salary cap issue by overpaying for Quickley, which could significantly impair their ability to acquire a superstar-level player. If they find themselves unable to meet Quickley’s contract expectations, he could re-enter the trading circuit.
Quickley’s Role in a Title Contender Strategy
The Knicks regard Quickley as a critical component in their title-contending blueprint. He has demonstrated immense versatility as a two-way player and shows promise as a valuable starting player. However, with Jalen Brunson handling point guard responsibilities, Quickley’s opportunity to become a full-time starter on the Knicks is limited, influencing the decision to possibly reintroduce him into the trade market.
The Risk and Reward of Delayed Extension
Although an immediate extension isn’t mandatory, postponing the decision may negatively impact Quickley’s trade value. This could complicate the potential for a successful trade involving Quickley for a star player in the future.
The Knicks’ front office has earned a reputation for securing team-friendly deals in recent years. It remains to be seen whether they can replicate this success with their prized Sixth Man, balancing their financial interests with their strategic aspirations.
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