When Immanuel Quickley was selected by the New York Knicks with the 25th-overall pick in the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft, many called it a reach.
Now with Quickley exploding onto the scene, one executive is getting the credit he deserves.
Back in 2007, GQ wrote a piece on if he was the “most powerful man” in sports. His name is William Wesley, and he’s now the executive vice president for the New York Knicks, a team currently sitting in playoff position for the first time in over half a decade.
Wesley was called “goodwill ambassador to our program” by John Calipari via GQ.
That said, Wesley pushed his power when it came to who the Knicks drafted in the 2020 NBA Draft. He was adamantly pushing Quickley at No. 25, and his wish was granted.
In a story detailed by NY Post’s Yaron Weitzman, it shows that Wesley was nearly begging the team to draft the undersized SEC Player of the Year.
“‘We need Quickley, get Quickley,’ William Wesley repeated, over and over and over and over. Wesley — the ubiquitous consultant/adviser/star-whisperer/power broker whose reputation has earned him the moniker ‘World Wide Wes’ — had joined the Knicks as an executive vice president and senior adviser in June and had spent the months since pushing Kentucky guard Immanuel Quickley at every turn. He knew that the Boston Celtics, picking at No. 26, had worked out Quickley and come away impressed. He was worried they’d steal his guy. He wanted the Knicks to pounce,” Yaron Weitzman wrote.
So far, it’s paid off in a big way. For starters, Quickley made history by hitting 94 of his first 100 free throws. It certainly doesn’t stop there though as Quickley has continued to create a name for himself in the Big Apple.
Currently ranked as the third-best rookie, Quickley is averaging 12.2 points per game and is shooting just over 38 percent from deep. While he still needs to improve in his decision-making and non-three-point shooting, Quickley has become a leader for the Knicks second unit.
Playing alongside Julius Randle, the former Kentucky Wildcats stars are getting it done. The Knicks have thrived behind a full team effort led by Randle. With Quickley chipping in his fair shares, he’s cemented himself as a piece to be excited for the long-term future.