A failed contract extension this offseason did not deter Immanuel Quickley’s confidence and that was put on full display in the New York Knicks’ season opener against the Boston Celtics last night.
Quickley Was in the Zone in Knicks’ Blown Home Opener
Prior to the Knicks commencing their 2023-24 campaign, Quickley spoke to the press and had this to say about where his mind was after negotiations fell through:
Quickley exploded for 24 points off the bench as the Knicks fell to the new-look Celtics 108-104. He and RJ Barrett led the way offensively and kept New York in the ball game for all four quarters.
Quickley also showed added range, grabbing six boards and one steal on the affair. He dominated for Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau and was the brightest spot for a team shaking off summer rust.
There were several lead changes, especially in the fourth quarter. New York found themselves up before Kristaps Porzingis got going from outside, hitting two critical threes from deep to ice New York in front of their home crowd.
New York would not have been in it without Quickley’s work from beyond the arc. Not only did he go 5-7 from outside, he showed versatility in nailing open spot-up opportunities and creating his own shot on a night where Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson struggled for a combined 29 points on 11-43 shooting from the floor.
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What Elevated Play From Quickley Will Garner in the Open Market
Quickley reportedly sought after a nine-figure extension but the Knicks’ payroll made that difficult to execute. Now playing for a championship as well as top dollars from potential suitors in the summer of 2024, Quickley’s push to take his game to the next level is twice as strong.
Should the Knicks unload Evan Fournier — who was a DNP in the loss — and his hefty contract, that will make life easier for the front office to match any offer sheet that Quickley signs.
Should Quickley’s play exceed expectations, he could also be dealt by the trade deadline. Daily Knicks identified three potential trade targets including the Minnesota Timberwolves, Chicago Bulls, and San Antonio Spurs. Wolves forward Karl-Anthony Towns is closely linked to the franchise in trade rumors and the Spurs surprisingly ran the point guard by committee in their 123-116 loss to the Dallas Mavericks last night.
Regardless, Quickley has his sights set on piling on points and using his new-and-improved frame to blossom into more of a factor on the defensive end as well. So far, he’s off to as good a start as he could have aimed for.