Immanuel Quickley isn’t the point guard answer Knicks have been searching for

NY Knicks, Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley, Jericho Sims, Quentin Grimes, Miles McBride (Photo by Michelle Farsi/Getty Images)
NY Knicks, Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley, Jericho Sims, Quentin Grimes, Miles McBride (Photo by Michelle Farsi/Getty Images) /

I recently wrote a Daily Knicks article that looked at the New York Knicks point guard situation over the past decade. The list was appalling:

  • Immanuel Quickley
  • Elfrid Payton
  • Frank Ntilikina
  • Emmanuel Mudiay
  • Jarrett Jack
  • Derrick Rose
  • Lanston Galloway
  • Jose Calderon
  • Shane Larkin
  • Raymond Felton
  • Pablo Prigioni
  • Iman Shumpert

Aside from the steadying hand of Rose and the occasional burst by Quickley, this compilation could rival any franchise as the worst of the 2010s. The team is (and should) be focused on correcting this trend.

My colleague James Nolan recently wrote a piece explaining how Quickley represents an in-house option for the point guard of the future. Yahoo Sports is on the record supporting this position.

I’d respectfully like to play devil’s advocate by taking the opposite side. Here’s why I believe Quickley should not be considered as an option as the long-term starting PG.

Analyzing Immanuel Quickley’s passing metrics for the New York Knicks

The modern NBA is filled with historic skillsets and positionless basketball. Once, nearly every franchise boasted a pass-first PG, an athletic SG with a sweet midrange game, a slashing SF, a bruising PF that played with his back to the basket, and a seven-foot center whose focus was rebounding, protecting the paint, and dunking.

Today, we have massive players like LeBron James, Giannis Antetokoumpo, Kevin Durant, and Luka Doncic acting as their franchise’s primary ball handlers. The league is also full of big men who can stretch the floor and provide spacing with their three-point shooting.

However, despite the changes to the league over the past decade and a half, the Knicks would be wise to place a premium value on a PG with good passing skills.

Players like RJ Barrett and Julius Randle, who appear to be clear building blocks for the future, could value tremendously from a floor general who could help provide easy baskets in transition and the half-court offense.

As dynamic as Quickley has been during his time in New York, he’s not displayed this type of passing ability. The sophomore guard has averaged just 2.5 assists per game over 125+ games played. His original pre-draft scouting reports also sighted his low assist numbers as a weakness.

Quickley can unquestionably hold his own as an NBA guard. He’s also displayed ball-handling abilities to assume point guard duties in spurts. He does not, however, have the profile as a primary passer.

Immanuel Quickley has potential as a sixth man for the New York Knicks

I am 100% in on Quickley as a long-term sixth man. The former Kentucky Wildcat’s game has drawn mainstream comparisons to Lou Williams. With that being said, Williams happens to be tied for the most Sixth Man of the Year awards (3) and is considered one of the most dangerous bench weapons in league history.

Perhaps non-coincidentally, Quickley was seen telling Williams that he was “one of his favorite players” during a 2020 matchup. You can check out the clip here:

Quickley’s shifty movements, physical profile, top-tier floater game, and ability to score in spurts are all similar to his predecessor. He also seems to thrive when he can get his shot off early and often. He could provide a similar boost to New York in a Williams-like role.

Immanuel Quickley is cut out to be the New York Knicks point guard

Please don’t misunderstand the purpose of this article. I believe Quickley to be a great talent and a key piece of the Knicks’ future.

However, despite possessing size and ball-handling abilities that are consistent with a normal point guard, Quickley’s game is best suited as a bench option, spot starter, or combo guard in a regular starting lineup.

Unless he drastically improves his court vision and passing skills, it would be harmful to the team and his personal development to force him into an unnatural role.

While I do prefer Quickley above all of the point guards listed above, New York would be wise to address its positional revolving door by adding a starting-caliber free agent or high upside guard via the draft.

Do you think that Quickley is a worthwhile option as the Knicks’ long-term starting point guard?