Will the Knicks have to trade Immanuel Quickley in deal for superstar?

NBA: New York Knicks at Boston Celtics
Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks have lost two straight games and have yet to truly make their impression felt in the Eastern Conference through the early portion of the 2023-24 NBA season. With the franchise actively pursuing another star player, will they have to give up Immanuel Quickley in order to make that a reality?

Knicks Can Deal Quickley for All-Star And Avoid Losing Him For Nothing in Free Agency

Jonah Morgan of Fan Nation detailed how Quickley is currently the most valuable trade asset that the Knicks have on their roster and would make the most sense as the cornerstone of any trade package.

Quickley will be a restricted free agent at the end of the year after he and the Knicks failed to come to terms on a contract extension. Quickley was aiming for $25 million while the front office was only willing to offer around $18 million annually.

Moving off of Quickley would allow the Knicks to bring back comparable if not superior scoring while avoiding the pressure of matching an offer sheet that could exceed Quickley’s original asking price.

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Quickley Boosting Value With Performance This Season

The former 2022-23 Sixth Man of the Year Runner-Up is enjoying another successful season this year. He’s averaging 15 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists on 36.4 percent shooting from the three-point line. He’s an attractive option for any team looking to add scoring punch to their second unit or any defensive-oriented lineup needing a sparkplug in their starting rotation.

The Knicks have had eyes on several All-Stars as the trade deadline draws closer by the day. Teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers could swap Donovan Mitchell for Quickley and execute an even position switch. However, teams such as the Philadelphia 76ers and Minnesota Timberwolves having a pressing need for Quickley remains to be seen, as both have shooting guards that are putting together All-Str-worthy campaigns thus far.

Regardless of the suitor, Quickley is the best player the Knicks have to trade should they want to retain Julius Randle, Jalen Brunson, and RJ Barrett and have four 20-plus point-per-game scorers to contend with the likes of the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics’ potent offenses in the playoffs.