Immanuel Quickley is the key to the Raptors-Knicks trade

The New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors made headlines on Saturday morning with a trade that sent OG Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa, and Malachi Flynn to the Knicks in exchange for RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, and a 2024 second-round pick. While much of the discussion has centered around Anunoby and Barrett, it may be Quickley who emerges as the sleeper pick in this trade.

Anunoby, a 3-and-D wing, brings ideal attributes for a Tom Thibodeau lineup. He is a perennial All-Defense forward with a 7-foot-2 wingspan, excelling defensively and providing efficient scoring. Barrett, on the other hand, has struggled to reach his full potential due to his shooting and shot creation limitations. The Raptors hope that a change of scenery will unlock Barrett’s abilities.

However, it is Quickley who may benefit the most from this trade. While Anunoby wanted a more significant offensive role, Quickley will likely find that opportunity in Toronto. He will also help tidy up the Raptors’ backcourt, which struggled after the departure of Fred VanVleet. Quickley, a former cult legend in New York, has shown his scoring ability and solid decision-making. As a starter last season, he averaged 22 points and five assists per game while maintaining an above-average true shooting percentage.

While Quickley’s ceiling may not be as high as some other guards, such as Tyrese Maxey, he has the potential to become an All-Star-caliber scorer. His decision-making, dribble set-ups, and defensive abilities set him apart. Quickley’s development was hindered in New York, but in Toronto, he will have the opportunity to grow and shine.

Critics may point to Quickley’s scoring profile, as he often settles for creating separation outside the arc due to a lack of explosive athleticism. However, he has shown improvement in his finishing at the rim and has the potential to become the number one option in Toronto’s backcourt. With Quickley in a contract year, the Raptors are taking a gamble that he was underutilized in New York and has more to offer.

Overall, the Knicks and Raptors trade has generated buzz around players like Anunoby and Barrett, but it may be Quickley who proves to be the sleeper pick. With the opportunity for a more significant offensive role and the potential for growth, Quickley could be a key player for the Raptors moving forward.

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