Immanuel Quickley and the Knicks could not come to an agreement on a contract extension. He will be a restricted free agent next offseason.
New York Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley did not receive an extension on his rookie deal by 6:00 PM EST on Monday, making him a restricted free agent next summer. According to Ian Begley of SNY, Quickley’s management team and the Knicks were in touch but negotiations eventually stalled. The fourth-year floor general from the University of Kentucky who has become an important part of New York’s bench is now in a contract year.
Quickley, who finished second last season in voting for the Sixth Man of the Year award in the league, averaged 14.9 points per game along with 4.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists in just 28.9 minutes per game off the bench. Quickley was often the go-to guard when Jalen Brunson was injured last season and he had multiple memorable games, including his 55-minute, 38-point performance against the Boston Celtics in the absence of Brunson and during a nine-game winning streak.
The small guard has also become larger than life on defense, being not only one of the better rebounding guards in the league but becoming a pest on the wing, something that has made head coach Tom Thibodeau a “Quickley guy” as he described to reporters earlier on Monday before practice.
"My hope is that we can always find common ground somewhere. I'm a big Quickley guy."
Tom Thibodeau addresses Immanuel Quickley's contract extension deadline: pic.twitter.com/CIRxL38QVh
— Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) October 23, 2023
New York and Quickley now find themselves between a rock and a hard place. The Knicks have been included in trade talks for several stars like the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns and the Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid. Not extending Quickley makes him an automatic name-drop in any conversation about a star trade prior to the deadline this season, as he can be a starter on many other teams in the league or be just as huge of a contributor off the bench for another playoff-contending team.
For Immanuel Quickley, the pressure is on. He has to perform to the caliber he did last regular season — that is, worth recognition from national media in the form of an award. But more importantly, he has to perform in the postseason. Quickley, like Julius Randle, was dealing with an injury and was unable to give 100% in the playoffs against the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Miami Heat. But, if he is healthy and still with the team come that time, he will need to show out.
The Knicks could simply match any offer sheet this summer if they decide that testing free agency and the trade market is not worth the risk, but it would be interesting to see them pay Quickley the same number — or more — that he wanted to start this season, delaying the inevitable.