Immanuel Quickley did something RJ Barrett never did — or fellow rookie, Obi Toppin, the Knicks’ 2020 lottery pick.
Quickley, the 25th-overall pick out last year of Kentucky, was named to the NBA All-Rookie second team on Thursday after being a sparkplug off the Knicks bench, boasting a trusty 3-pointer and trademark floater. Last season, Barrett, the third-overall pick in 2019, was snubbed from the two rookie teams last season.
Quickley’s impact overshadowed that of Toppin, taken eighth overall. A key bench performer, Quickley averaged 11.4 points, shooting 38.9 percent from 3. Nevertheless, he finished the season shooting 39 percent overall as his floater late in the season wasn’t as effective. He also managed to draw fouls and shot a sterling 89.1 percent from the free-throw line.
Though Quickley wasn’t alone, he struggled in the first-round series vs. Atlanta, averaging just 5.8 points and shooting 30 percent overall.
Slated as a mid second-round pick despite winning SEC Player of the Year as a sophomore, Quickley was one of the major surprises for the Knicks. Knicks assistant coach Kenny Payne and senior VP William Wesley lobbied for the pick.
Quickley (148 points) was the top vote-getter on the second team as he received his share of first team votes. Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane (88), Pistons center Isaiah Stewart (71), Cavaliers swingman Isaac Okoro (53) and Bulls forward Patrick Williams (50) joined Quickley on the second team.
The first team featured Rookie of the Year selection Lonzo Ball as well as Anthony Edwards, Saddiq Bey, Tyrese Haliburton and Rockets forward Jae’Sean Tate.