Why the Knicks should not trade Immanuel Quickley

Dylan Backer
New York Knicks, immanuel quickley
Nov 2, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley (5) reacts to contact as he drives the ball around Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray (5) during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks backup guard, Immanuel Quickley, has been floated around in trade rumors lately, as New York is reportedly taking calls on the third-year guard out of Kentucky.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Friday that the Knicks have “shown a willingness to discuss” shopping Quickley.

“Knicks have shown a willingness to discuss Derrick Rose and Immanuel Quickley in trade talks, league sources say, as a way to sort out the team’s glut at the guard position over the course of the season.”

Shams Charania via The Athletic

The Knicks signing Jalen Brunson in the offseason hampered any chance of Quickley being elevated to a starting role anytime soon on the Knicks. As a result of the logjam at the guard position, the Knicks are reportedly looking to clear out any excess backcourt dept, putting Quickley at the centerpiece of those discussions.

Quickley is averaging 8/4/3 while shooting career-lows in both field goal and 3-point percentage this season, at 36.5% and 27.9%, respectively. While his shooting numbers are jarring, the Knicks should still consider keeping the young guard for a variety of reasons.

Immanuel Quickley is the Knicks’ most impactful defender

Despite Quickley’s struggles on the offensive side of the ball, he has been tremendous on the other end of the floor. Quickley has the team’s best defensive rating this season at 108.9 (minimum 20 MPG), and by far the best out of the Knicks’ backcourt players.

Quickley put his defense on full display when he guarded Jamal Murray beautifully in the last possession of the Knicks’ 106-103 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night, a pure demonstration of the impact he provides on the side of the ball with his quick feet and the intense pressure he puts on ball handlers.

Quickley says that he does not focus on simply one area of his game and wants to succeed in many other facets to still serve as an impactful player.

“That’s one of my goals: being a two-way player.”

Immanuel Quickley on being impactful defensively via New York Post

The Knicks as a team have struggled mightily on the defensive end this year, especially from the perimeter. New York has allowed the most 3s to their opponents in the NBA at 229.

Trading away Quickley would take away their best perimeter defender from New York, which would be at a really bad time, as they need his tenacity and effort on that end of the floor more than ever right now.

Quickley is one of the Knicks’ best playmakers

Immanuel Quickley still has found a way to be impactful on the offensive end despite the rough shooting splits, as he has excelled in the playmaking department this season. Among reserve players this season, Quickley ranks 10th in the NBA in APG at 3.2.

His APG total is 2nd on the Knicks only to Jalen Brunson (6.9), and currently has the same APG average as the team’s leader from last season, Julius Randle. This comes as Quickley has yet to start a game for the Knicks this season.

Quickley has had six games this season with at least four assists, and in 10 out of 16 games played this season, he has had either one or zero turnovers.

He has also shown to be a stifling burst of energy, especially when sharing the floor with high-flyers such as Obi Toppin and Jericho Sims. Quickley has been phenomenal fastbreaks and low post alley-oops, more specifically, which has given the Knicks a much-needed spark on numerous occasions.

If the Knicks were to trade away Quickley, they would instantly lose that spark that he provides to a Knicks team that has appeared lethargic with him off the floor.

Overall Thoughts

Immanuel Quickley has regressed from a shooting standpoint, but he has actually ascended in many other important aspects aside from shooting. Evidently, he is still showing signs of strong and fast development despite the setbacks.

For that reason, trading away Quickley could come with more consequences than benefits. The Knicks will have to really weigh the pros and cons of what moving the young guard will do to the organization.

Only Leon Rose and the Knicks’ front office knows what Quickley’s future in New York holds.

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