Grizzlies saved Knicks fans from an even more painful Immanuel Quickley trade

New York Knicks, Immanuel Quickley
New York Knicks, Immanuel Quickley / Rich Graessle/GettyImages

It's been three days since the New York Knicks traded RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley to the Raptors for OG Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa, and Malachi Flynn. Except for Flynn, the players involved in the deal have made their debuts for their new teams.

Most New York fans were upset that Quickley was traded, especially to a division rival. The silver lining is that Toronto is currently the worst team in the Atlantic, a place the team finished in last season. There are still 50 regular season games left to be played, so that could change. Even after the trade, though, the Knicks' outlook is better than the Raptors.

The writing he'd be traded was on the wall after Quickley didn't sign an extension before the beginning of 2023-24. New York didn't want to pay him starter money, and rather than lose him in restricted free agency to a team willing to give IQ what he wanted, the Knicks traded him over a month before the deadline.

As hard as it was to learn that Quickley was also going to the Raptors in the deal, he could've gone to a far worse destination.

Knicks reportedly talked to Celtics about Immanuel Quickley-Marcus Smart trade

Before the extension deadline, New York reportedly talked about an Immanuel Quickley-Marcus Smart trade (subscription required). The Athletic's Fred Katz wrote:

"Once the Knicks realized they and Quickley would be far away from an extension, they understood he was unlikely to be part of their future. They considered trading him for a win-now veteran this past summer, too, even chattering with the Boston Celtics about a possible Quickley-for-Marcus Smart swap before Boston eventually dealt Smart to the Memphis Grizzlies, league sources tell The Athletic."

Fred Katz, The Athletic

Can you imagine the reaction from Knicks fans if Quickley had been traded to the Celtics? X (Twitter) would've collapsed even more than it already has. The same can be said for Boston fans, as it was already tough enough for them to lose Smart.

The Grizzlies swooped in to save the day by acquiring Smart in a three-team trade that sent Kristaps Porzingis to the Celtics.

Knicks fans are already expecting Quickley to go off in Toronto with a more significant role, and it would've been sickening to see him excel with the Celtics. If fans got to choose where IQ was traded, Boston would've been at the bottom of the list.

Thank you, Memphis. Seriously.

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