The Toronto Raptors trading OG Anunoby to the New York Knicks for RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley seems to have helped both teams in the immediate future. Both New York and Toronto have won their first two games since the trade, with the two former Knicks both finding success scoring the ball on their new team.
While Barrett has done a solid job on both ends, Quickley has been downright fantastic. Quickley has put up 40 points in his first two games with the Raptors, including 26 in a close win against the Memphis Grizzlies on the road. Even on a new team, IQ is already becoming indispensable to the Raptors' plan of attack.
In just his second game with the team, Quickley picked up what should be the first of several MVP chains. Even though he just got to Toronto, Quickley is already assimilating to a culture built more on outward positivity than the regimented, harsh goings-on in New York.
“Darko pulled me aside while the game was going on and said: ‘You’re not having fun. Have fun,’” Quickley said, via the AP. “I’ve never really had a coach do that.” The transition from the militaristic Tom Thibodeau to the more relaxed Rajakovic seemed to have worked wonders.
Toronto Raptors PG Immanuel Quickley already having "fun," winning MVP chain.
What makes Quickley such a refreshing player to watch for the Raptors is the fact they needed someone with his skillset for years. While Fred VanVleet could shoot and distribute like Quickley, the former Kentucky star's extraordinary ability to create off the dribble is what sets him apart.
The Raptors immediately put Quickley into the starting lineup; something Knicks fans were irate with Tom Thibodeau for not doing unless injury mandated it over the last few seasons. The results have been spectacular, with Quickley's shooting giving the Raptors a serious boost in an area of need.
While Masai Ujiri could still trade Pascal Siakam, reports from Adrian Wojnarowski state that he will give Siakam a few games alongside Quickley and Barrett to see if he fits in. With Pascal putting up 60 points in 70 minutes after the trade went down, the early returns are quite exceptional.
In much the same way Knicks fans are finding out why Raptors fans loved Anunoby and couldn't stand Precious Achiuwa most of the time, Toronto is finally starting to understand why Quickley was held in such high regard.