When the New York Knicks drafted Immanuel Quickley with the 25th overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft, nobody anticipated the impact he would make this past season. As a 21-year-old guard, the hope was that Quickley showed enough offensive prowess to instill confidence for the future, but he ended up averaging nearly 20 minutes per game, scoring 11.4 points, 2.0 assists, and shooting nearly 40% from the field. From range, he also connected on 39% of the shots, attempting 4.7 per game.
For a player that CBS Sports gave a â€œDâ€ grade to, Quickley proved the doubters wrong, showcasing he can be an adequate shooting guard at the next level.
Quickley played well enough to earn an invite to the USA Select Team this week as Team USA trains for the Olympics. Of course, the young guard has plenty to work on, gauging the opinions of some of the best players in the world.
The Kentucky product detailed asking Kevin Durant questions and simply spending time around great players:
In his answer below, Immanuel Quickley references talking to Kevin Durant at USA Basketball training camp. Later in the same interview, Quickley said Durant told him today that they could work out together while at training camp: pic.twitter.com/SwdxzD9lvU
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) July 8, 2021
One of Quickley’s biggest focuses this summer will be his mid-range shot, but heâ€™s also working as a point guard during select team workouts and practices.
â€œIâ€™m just trying to work on things that I didnâ€™t necessarily show last year, which is my mid-range game, my pullup, creating for my teammates and consistently running a team,â€ Quickley said on Wednesday.
The New York Knicks will be ecstatic Immanuel is soaking in the wisdom:
One of the more exciting aspects of being a part of the Select Team gives him access to some of these amazing players, and heâ€™s already secured separate workouts with Durant, as the Nets star told him they should work out together per Ian Begley of SNY.
Learning from the best will help Quickley tremendously, as heâ€™s looking to take a step forward in his sophomore season. The Knicks have $50+ million to allocate in free agency this off-season, but Quickley remains an important part of their plans moving forward, and based on the success he showed in his rookie campaign, they anticipate him being a significant factor in one way or another next season. Quickley could end up being an elite option off the bench, offering instant offensive as a guard.
Quickley was coined last year as having unlimited range, pulling up from deep to connect on three-point shots. You donâ€™t often see that type of confidence from 21-year-old players in their rookie season.