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Immanuel Quickley To Stay Or Go?

By Jeff Stinger

The NBA trade season has been quiet so far, but more rumors start to swirl in our news feed as the deadline approaches. One of the few teams eager to get in on the action is the New York Knicks. The latest talks indicate that Immanuel Quickley’s name will be mentioned every so often moving forward. His name was brought up in early December. Reports said that the franchise made calls to evaluate trade interests. Although the Knicks are yet to set in stone if Quickley will be available by the February deadline, it’s perceived that he is an attainable target for several teams.

The 23-year-old guard from Kentucky is in form. He’s been a part of head coach Tom Thibodeau’s rotation. This season, he played 48 games and averaged 12.4 points, four rebounds, and 3.2 assists. We see a positive trend compared to his previous season and seems to fit the Knicks’ system right now.

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Immanuel Quickley: A bright prospect

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The Suns locked in

Since the Suns start to eye point guards to fill in for Chris Paul should the veteran guard retire or move on to another team, the 25th overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft first round gets linked with the franchise. Phoenix is in an advantageous position right now. The team is holding onto all of their first-round picks and will eventually capitalize on Jae Crowder and turn him into something of value soon. But from a salary perspective, the Suns are at risk of including Paul if they plan to pull off a major deal.

It’s bizarre to think that just a few years after making a finals appearance, the Suns are struggling to find traction just before the All-Star break. They were outside of the top ten at one point. Injuries to Devin Booker, Cam Johnson, and Chris Paul haunted the team. Meanwhile, Jae Crowder not playing a single game or even a single minute hurt the lineup as well.

Phoenix looks to make some changes in attempts to log better results in the campaign’s second half. They’re in search of answers to both short and long-term issues. Names like Fred VanVleet and Terry Rozier came up, but one prospective target that floated around involved the Knicks’ Immanuel Quickley.

Injecting the Knicks’ sixth man into the Suns’ roster makes a lot of sense for multiple reasons. He is a young talent and a promising guard that could be of value. He fits the timeline of the core nicely and could take the helm from Chris Paul in the long run. Quickley’s ability to play both on and off the ball while being a playmaking scoring threat with defensive talent is exactly what Monty Williams needs right now.

What’s Quickley worth now

New York trading one of their best young players could brew into a mistake in the long run. The Knicks are trying to build a playoff contender in the Eastern Conference and Quickly playing like this puts them on track. They won 16 of their last 26 games after starting the season 10-13 and are within playoff contention in the East. Thibodeau made changes to the rotation that took the team a step closer to the winning formula.

Another franchise in a position to court Quickley is the Milwaukee Bucks. The 2021 NBA champions will do whatever it takes to make the most out of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s prime. The goal is to improve their roster in a way possible to get the most mileage out of the two-time MVP and Finals MVP. Another championship is also on target.

As a rule, rebuilding NBA teams go for younger talent. For championship contenders, veteran presence is more of a priority. That makes sense for both the Bucks and the Suns. Quickley is likely to contribute off the bench and improve his game with experienced players around him.

Quickley is eligible to sign a contract extension this summer. He is set to receive $4.2 million in 2023-24 for the final season of his rookie contract. The future looks good for him, especially if the young guard keeps the momentum going.

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