Stock Soaring: Immanuel Quickley
The New York Knicks and Immanuel Quickley were unable to come to terms on a contract extension prior to the start of the season, in large part because the Knicks need Quickley to be a super-sub, and Quickley wants to be paid like a starter. Thus far this season, he’s been playing like a player who can expect to land that payday next summer.
On a similar shot volume to last season, Quickley has increased his efficiency, shooting 47.4 percent from the field, offsetting a slight step back in three-point percentage with increased efficiency inside the arc. He has increased his frequency of shots at the rim, venturing into the paint more often. Similar to Barrett, he isn’t necessarily creating all of those shots for himself, as he is assisted on a career-high 36 percent of his two-point baskets.
Quickley’s increased usage, assist percentage and efficiency have combined for a strongly positive offensive impact; his +3.1 Offensive Box Plus-Minus is by far the best among rotation players, giving him the highest BPM on the team. Together, he and Brunson are ensuring the Knicks have 48 minutes of positive point guard play, and when the two share the court, they have a +8.1 net rating.
The Knicks are winners no matter what if Quickley continues to have a strong season. They can continue to benefit from a deep guard rotation, have a ready-made fill-in whenever Brunson misses time, and head into next summer with team control as he becomes a restricted free agent.
On the flip side, they can parlay his strong start into a trade to bring in another star or the assets to add to their offer for such a star. It’s a win-win, and it continues as long as Quickley plays well (who is highly motivated himself to keep playing well heading into free agency).