The NBA is on its All-Star Weekend break which inevitably means rankings through the halfway point of the season are going to pop up. That includes a ranking of the rookie class, one which has been far better than expected.
The Kentucky Wildcats had two first-round draft picks with Tyrese Maxey surprisingly slipping outside of the lottery. Three Cats were taken overall with Nick Richards as the lone second-round pick.
The third taken has been the most impressive though.
Guard Immanuel Quickley, despite being the SEC Player of the Year, was taken by the Knicks with the 25th-overall pick. The Knicks were given a D+ for taken Quickley, and when he flips through his camera roll, he’s still reminded of the disrespect.
That said, Quickley has quickly (pun intended) come onto the scene in the Big Apple. He’s averaging 12.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game. With the Knicks in playoff contention, Quickley has soared up NBA.com’s Rookie Ladder.
In the most recent ranking, he slid up past James Wiseman and Anthony Edwards, now at No. 3. He’s only behind Tyrese Haliburton and LaMelo Ball.
“Knicks fans might be getting a little irrationally exuberant over the success of their team with a half-season to go, but the Ladder doesn’t feel it’s gushing too much by moving Quickley up two spots this week. He has responded nicely to some chatter last month about the “rookie wall.” Quickley also is boosting coach Tom Thibodeau case as a Coach of the Year candidate. His minutes aren’t killer — 18.9, ranking 17th among rookie regulars — but his production is (23.9 points per 36 minutes, tops among newbies),” NBA.com’s Steve Aschburner wrote.
Quickley has been a crucial part of the Knicks' second unit. With former Wildcat Julius Randle leading the team, Quickley has cemented himself as one of the team’s most efficient players.
Having hit 94 of his first 100 free throws, Quickley made history with the most makes from the charity stripe through 100 attempts.
Along with hitting 1.8 threes per game on over 38 percent from deep, Quickley is thriving with the New York Knicks as they’re on the verge of their first postseason berth in over half a decade.