Immanuel Quickley will be getting a fresh start after being traded from the New York Knicks to the Toronto Raptors. Moving forward, the 24-year-old guard is seeking a sizable contract and a larger role, according to Ric Bucher of Fox Sports.
“Quickley, the sources say, is eager to start as a scoring point guard and be paid in the $25 million-$30 million range, on par with Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson, who is in the second year of a four-year, $104 million deal,” Bucher wrote.
Quickley will be a restricted free agent next summer, which means that the Raptors will have the opportunity to match any outside offers he receives. Considering the fact that they just traded for the University of Kentucky product, it seems likely that they’ll want to keep him in Toronto.
The Knicks drafted Quickley in the first round (25th overall) of the 2020 NBA Draft. He appeared in 253 total games for New York, but he started in just 27. He averaged 12.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 24.1 minutes per performance in those games.
With Brunson thriving as the lead guard for the Knicks, there just wasn’t much additional on-court opportunity for Quickley in New York. Plus, with so much money already owed to Brunson, it seemed unlikely that the Knicks would have wanted to offer a second sizable contract to another relatively diminutive guard.
In Toronto, Quickley will likely get an opportunity to start and play more minutes than he did in New York. Plus, Toronto’s front office might be more willing to crack open the checkbook in order to retain Quickley. The team is clearly excited about his addition.
“Immanuel is a young, talented playmaker who we believe will provide a spark on both ends of the court,” Raptors president Masai Ujiri said in a statement.
In addition to Quickley, the Raptors also landed RJ Barrett and draft compensation in the trade from the Knicks. Meanwhile, the Raptors sent O.G. Anunoby, Malachi Flynn and Precious Achiuwa to New York.
Ultimately, how Quickley plays for the remainder of the season with the Raptors will go a long way toward determining just how big his next contract will be. If he’s able to take advantage of the opportunity and thrive in Toronto, it will certainly help his cause.
At the time of the trade, the Raptors were 12th in the standings in the Eastern Conference with a record of 12-19. It will be interesting to see what sort of impact the deal has on Toronto’s record moving forward.