Knicks, Quickley reportedly not talking contract extension. Yet.

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New York Knicks v Miami Heat - Game Three

New York Knicks v Miami Heat – Game Three

Immanuel Quickley’s price is only going to go up.

The Knicks’ guard finished second in Sixth Man of the Year voting last season and now he is about to enter his fourth season in New York with expectations climbing. He’s also extension eligible now. However, the sides have not yet had any “substantive” talks, reports Sean Deveney at Heavy.com, something echoed by Ian Belgley at SNY.TV.

That’s likely to change. While it would have been tough for New York to pay both Quickley and Obi Toppin under the tax rules, the team traded Toppin to Indiana — a great fit for him, don’t be surprised if Toppin puts up big numbers running next to Tyrese Haliburton — and that frees up money to keep Quickley. The sixth man’s raw counting stats are good but not mind-blowing — 14.9 points and 3.4 assists a game — but he made a leap after the All-Star break averaging 21 points and 4.2 assists a game and shooting 40.1% from 3. The Knicks outscored opponents by 8.5 points per 100 possessions when Quickley was on the court last season, and he is a plus defender who is critical in Tom Thibodeau’s system.

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Which leads to the question, what is a Quickley extension worth? Deveney got an eye-popping answer from one executive.

“He is going to want nine figures,” the executive told Heavy Sports. “And that’s for four years. I can’t say the Knicks will go that high but they might have to. He is not a guy you want to send to restricted free agency.”

The second part of that is the key — a lot of other teams covet Quickely, the salary cap is climbing and if he goes to restricted free agency New York might have to match a contract similar to Jalen Brunson’s
(four years, $104 million) to keep him. New York is better off reaching some kind of extension deal with Quickley before the Oct. 24 deadline, but it will be pushing nine figures. Would four years, $90 million be enough?

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As Begley notes, if the Knicks sign Quickley to an extension it essentially takes him off the table in trade talks this season (the Knicks are monitoring situations in Philadephia, Milwaukee and elsewhere hoping an MVP-level player becomes available, although that is likely next summer at the earliest, if it happens at all). Quickley’s extension would have a poison pill that makes his outgoing and incoming salaries in a trade very different and with that difficult to match. If a trade for a superstar did come up, you can be sure those other teams would want Quickley.

It’s a situation to monitor as we move toward Knicks training camp. It’s in New York’s interest to extend Quickley, but it will cost them.

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