From Fred Katz:
How Brunson and Quickley move together could determine Quickley’s future, and thus the Knicks’ fate, too.
The fourth-year guard will become a restricted free agent next summer after he and the team failed to agree on an extension heading into this season. And part of the reason negotiations weren’t close was because of Quickley’s role. The Knicks know Quickley can ball, but they also acknowledge him as a sixth man, less because of talent and more because of Brunson’s presence.
As long as another small guard is soaking up 36 minutes a night — and especially if he’s doing it at an All-Star level, as Brunson does — Quickley is bound for the bench. The Knicks can’t pay starter money to someone who is blocked from ever rising to that role.
It’s led to questions about what’s next for Quickley. Could he receive a massive contract offer next summer, forcing the Knicks either to bring him back for a larger price tag than they want or to let him walk for nothing? Could New York flip him to another team before February’s trade deadline?
Quickley is a young, scrappy guard who many around the league believe could break out if he were handed a starting role. Include him with Evan Fournier’s expensive salary, maybe throw in a first-round pick or two, and the Knicks could bring back an impact player to help them at another position. After all, they’re already loaded with guards under 6 foot 6.
I would hate to see them trade Quickley, and to be frank, what is even the move to be made out there for Quickley? The issue is that the type of guy the Knicks would want back for Quickley is essentially “Quickley, but taller,” and, well, if you had Quickley, but taller, you wouldn’t trade him for Quickley, right?
Just play Quickley more, and see what happens. Give him more than 30 minutes a game, for crying out loud! He’s currently sixth in the team in minutes played per game, behind Josh Hart and every non-Grimes starter. Pump up Quickley’s minutes!