The New York Knicks-Donovan Mitchell saga coming to an end was a relief for many fans, even though Mitchell was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. For those who were hoping to see the three-time All-Star in New York, there’s something that you can still be happy about, and it’s the fact that none of the Knicks’ young players were traded to the Jazz.
It was rumored that Utah valued RJ Barrett, Obi Toppin, and Immanuel Quickley in trade talks, and reportedly, one of New York’s offers included both Barrett and Toppin. At the end of the day, though, all three players remained in NYC and Barrett signed a four-year, $120 million extension.
The Knicks can move forward now that it’s official that Mitchell won’t be calling MSG home anytime soon. Some fans may still be feeling disappointed, and that’s understandable, but it’s important to not forget about one player in particular. Quickley has had a busy offseason and could very well end up playing a big role for New York in 2022-23.
Quickley, who’s entering his third season in the NBA, has often been compared to Tyrese Maxey, his teammate at Kentucky. Maxey was the No. 21 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft and Quickley was the No. 25 pick. The similarities don’t end there, as both players went to teams in the Atlantic Division.
Maxey has had more success with the Philadelphia Sixers, but he’s also been given more playing time than Quickley.
Will Immanuel Quickley be given the green light with the Knicks in 2022-23?
Maxey fully arrived on the scene with the Sixers in 2021-22, as he averaged 17.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 4.3 assists while shooting 48.5% from the field and 42.7% from the three-point line in 75 games (74 starts). Meanwhile, Quickley averaged 11.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 3.5 assists while shooting 39.2% from the floor and 34.6% from the three-point line in 78 games (three starts).
What’s the main difference between the two players? The amount of time that they spent on the court. Maxey averaged 35.3 minutes per game and Quickley averaged 23.1. A fair argument would be that if Quickley were in Philadelphia, he’d be putting up numbers similar to Maxey’s.
Honestly, Quickley could’ve put up better numbers in 2021-22 if Tom Thibodeau would’ve opted to let him operate as the Knicks’ starting point guard in place of Alec Burks. At the end of the year when Quickley was given the opportunity to play morehe recorded two triple-doubles.
In a win over the Orlando Magic on Apr. 3, Quickley made history as the second-youngest player in the history of the organization to record a triple-double, which also happened to be his first triple-double.
Maxey’s performance last season gained more attention, though, especially since the Sixers made it to the playoffs. In Philadelphia’s 12 postseason games, the 21-year-old averaged 20.8 points, 3.9 assists, and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 48.4% from the floor and 37.7% from three. Maxey deserved every last bit of the praise that rained down upon him, although it’d be nice if he were on a team other than the Sixers.
Knicks fans are aware of what Quickley brings to the table, but he could put the rest of the league on notice this season. With the uncertainties surrounding Evan Fournier’s future in New York, Quickley’s minutes could jump up in 2022-23, but that’s something that should happen regardless.
Watching Quickley and Maxey go up against one another on Christmas is yet another reason to circle the Dec. 25 game on your calendar. Don’t sleep on IQ.