Should Knicks trade Immanuel Quickley to make stronger push for a star?

In an unexpected turn of events, the New York Knicks have reportedly been willing to listen to trade talks for 23-year-old guard Immanuel Quickley. It was first reported by SNY’s Ian Begley that the Knicks were receiving offers for Quickley, but then, it was revealed by Shams Charania that the front office was actually listening to said offers. And now, we know what New York is looking to get back in return.

Per Fred Katz of The Athletic (subscription required), the Knicks’ motivation behind listening to offers for Quickley has been revealed.

After choosing to not trade for Donovan Mitchell over the summer, New York is still in search of a star to bring to the Big Apple. Charania recently reported that NBA executives believe that the Knicks are holding onto their chest of first-round picks for a megastar, which brings us back to the topic of possibly trading Quickley.

Katz wrote that New York is “targeting a future first-round pick in a return for Quickley.”

Knicks are looking for a future first-round pick in trade talks for Immanuel Quickley

Fred Katz mentioned that as time passes, things are becoming murkier for New York in its pursuit of a star:

The Knicks waited long enough in their quest for a star that the young players they hoped could form the core of a big-time trade are about to lose what makes them the most attractive: their cheapness.

One of the positives about the Knicks being in trade discussions for Donovan Mitchell over the summer was that if New York were to acquire him, his presence would be enough to pique the interest of another star.

But in order to get that second star, the Knicks will need to have enough leftover from trading for the first. A first-round pick for Quickley would help New York reach that goal, but that doesn’t mean that trading him is a good idea.

Quickley is eligible to sign an extension this summer after his third year in the league, so the Knicks are doing their due diligence on the guard beforehand. The trade chatter doesn’t mean that a deal will happen, but instead, that New York is evaluating interest from other teams.

IQ’s been off to a rough start offensively this season, but he’s evolved into one of the Knicks’ best defenders. The fan base would likely revolt if Quickley were to be traded ahead of the February deadline, and the anger would be justified. Ever since he was drafted in 2020, he’s been under the tutelage of Tom Thibodeau, who’s known for playing veterans until their legs fall off. That hasn’t stopped Quickley from progressing each year, but he’s spent time stuck behind players such as Derrick Rose and Evan Fournier.

If those two veterans are traded in the coming months, and they should be, Immanuel Quickley will be granted an increased role. If the Knicks were to trade him before that happens, the young guard could very well end up being the one that got away.