Knicks: 3 reasons to believe Immanuel Quickley is legit

Immanuel QuickleyCredit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Immanuel QuickleyCredit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /
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Feb 18, 2020; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; Kentucky Wildcats guard Immanuel Quickley (5) celebrates as he runs off the court following a 79-76 win against the LSU Tigers at the Maravich Assembly Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /

1) Reasons to believe in Immanuel Quickley: Pedigree

While everyone pays attention to mock drafts in evaluating a player’s potential NBA talent, we forget these players were once top recruits out of high school. Some pundits were surprised the Knicks took Quickley with the 25th pick, but if you look at his recruiting ranks from just two years ago, he was one of the best 20-25 high school players in the country before signing on with Kentucky.

  • Rivals had him ranked 22nd
  • 247Sports had him ranked 19th
  • ESPN had him ranked 25th

Of course, a lot can happen in two years. And Quickley suffered a bit from joining a stacked Kentucky team where coach John Calipari didn’t want to feature him right-away in a three-guard lineup. But instead of letting a challenging situation get to him, Quickley bought into the program. He was rewarded with more playing time and turned into the SEC Player of the Year during his sophomore season.

This is a sign of maturity. And no NBA team has better intel into Quickley’s work ethic and professionalism than the Knicks do with Kentucky assistant Kenny Payne joining the staff and the front office’s strong ties to Calipari.

Draft experts called the 2020 NBA Draft a crapshoot after the first few picks. There were wide-ranging views on where each prospect should be slotted. So just because Quickley wasn’t the name on everyone’s mock draft at #25, it doesn’t mean he isn’t worthy of that selection. Something he is proving early on.