Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley dropped 25 points in back-to-back games against the Cavs and Clippers, putting his name in the conversation of Rookie of the Year. Photo by @jkubatko (Twitter).
- Rookie Immanuel Quickley is proving to be a key piece of the New York Knicks early on this season
- He enjoyed another big performance on Sunday in a loss to the Clippers, dropping 25 points
- Does he have a chance at giving LaMelo Ball a run for his money for the Rookie of the Year? Get our odds, analysis, and pick below
Coming out of the 2020 NBA Draft class, a lot of the talk surrounded LaMelo Ball and number one overall pick, Anthony Edwards. The Timberwolves rookie hasn’t lived up to the hype so far, while Ball certainly has. The Charlotte Hornets guard is the heavy favorite to win Rookie of the Year, however, a fellow draftee could be creeping up behind Ball.
Enter Knicks youngster Immanuel Quickley. Drafted by the OKC Thunder then traded to New York just two days later, the former Kentucky star has been showing out this season for Tom Thibodeau’s team.
Quickley has seen his Rookie of the Year Odds skyrocket in just a matter of days after two impressive performances against the Cavs and Clippers. The 21-year old was at +1600 on January 27th but now, he has the third-best odds behind Tyrese Haliburton and Ball at +700.
2021 NBA Rookie of the Year Odds
|LaMelo Ball (CHA)||-125|
|Tyrese Haliburton (SAC)||+350|
|Immanuel Quickley (NYK)||+700|
|James Wiseman (GSW)||+750|
|Anthony Edwards (MIN)||+1300|
|Cole Anthony (ORL)||+1600|
|Tyrese Maxey (PHI)||+3600|
|Payton Pritchard (BOS)||+4600|
|Deni Avdija (WAS)||+5500|
Odds taken Jan 31 at Fanduel
Quickley Explodes Against LA
The Knicks rookie started off relatively slow to begin the campaign, but in Quickley’s last handful of appearances, he’s been on fire. The guard torched Portland for 31 points last week, then just days later, he erupted for another 25 in a big win over the Cavs.
But Sunday’s meeting with the Clippers was sure to be a good test for Quickley against the electric duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. He proved to be up for the task, dropping another 25 points in just 27 minutes off the bench. Although Quickley struggled from downtown as he went just 2-8, there was one signature move that worked all day long for him against the LA defense.
Quickley was doing a great job of finding lanes to the hoop where he collected almost all of his points from floaters in the paint. The Clippers kept allowing him to drive inside and he took full advantage. One of the clear reasons Quickley kept hitting this particular shot is because he did a brilliant job of getting his body in front of the defender which either allowed him to convert in the lane or draw a foul as he went 5/6 from the charity stripe.
Proving to be a Franchise Piece
Playing for an organization like the Knicks who have been dreadful for several years, there is the possibility of Quickley turning into a building block. New York has shown a lot of promise this season with RJ Barrett and Julius Randle also taking strides in their respective games.
Although Quickley has started just once this season, he’s getting more minutes typically than Elfrid Payton, who usually starts at point guard. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Quickley move into a more prominent first unit role very soon if he continues to score at a high level.
Seeing this youngster develop into the next star at Madison Square Garden alongside Barrett and Randle would be no surprise. He has the opportunity with the Knicks to have a lot more leeway to play his game. Under a very experienced coach like Tom Thibodeau as well, Quickley is going to keep getting better. This is just the start.
2020-21 NBA Playoff Odds Tracker
Ball is Still The Best Pick
Although Quickley has been balling out lately, I still believe LaMelo is the clear favorite to win ROTY. He just impacts the game in so many different ways that are vital to Charlotte’s success. Ball is averaging 12.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 6.1 assists per contest. He’s a ridiculously talented passer above anything else, but the rookie is also an efficient rebounder, considering he’s a guard.
Although Quickley’s 11.6 points per game aren’t far behind Ball, he doesn’t have the same impact on the glass or from a playmaking standpoint, with just 2.5 dimes and 2.1 boards a night.
Tyrese Haliburton of the Kings should also be considered a threat to Ball but even then, I don’t think he’ll be able to keep up with the Hornets phenom either. Don’t get me wrong, Immanuel Quickley is performing extremely well. But I don’t see a Rookie of the Year award in his sights this season.
Quinn Allen is a sports journalist, with a background and education in broadcast journalism (BCIT ’17). He writes about European Football, Basketball, and Baseball for numerous sites across the globe.