Building Block: Immanuel Quickley
Immanuel Quickley was beloved in the Big Apple, but his potential seemed forever thwarted by Jalen Brunson and Tom Thibodeau's refusal to play them together regularly. In Toronto, Quickley gets the keys to the offense. The 24-year-old guard started zero games for the Knicks prior to being traded. Since becoming a Raptor, Quickley has never come off the bench.
Quickley's counting stats have surged since the trade, which isn't much of a surprise, as he's playing significantly more. But he's also playing better. Take a look at his three-point shooting, for instance, which has improved to a career-high 45.5 percent in his first 11 games in Toronto.
Quickley is also showing some leaps as a passer and playmaker, which Toronto will hope to see more of going forward. In his homecoming game at Madison Square Garden, Quickley dished 11 assists, taking a pass-heayv approach at his former arena. Games like that are when he comes closest to resembling the best guard of yesteryear for Toronto, Fred VanVleet.
The guard has been battle-tested, playing his college ball at Kentucky and his personal ball to this point under the bright lights of the Big Apple. He's ready for his moment as a starting floor general in the league.
It won't come cheap for Quickley to be part of Toronto's future. This is Quickley's last year before hitting restricted free agency. The Raptors will be able to match any offer on the guard, who is likely going to see at least $100 million over four years, or an annual salary of at least $25 million. If he continues his hot run of play since heading north, he'll be worth every penny.