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After sending their backup point guard Immanuel Quickley to the Toronto Raptors as part of the OG Anunoby trade, the New York Knicks immediately locked up his potential replacement to a long-term deal.
McBride, the 36th pick of the 2020 NBA Draft, immediately took an expanded role in the aftermath of the trade that saw the Knicks also sending RJ Barrett to the Raptors.
The 23-year-old point guard played a season-high 18 minutes in a 140-126 loss for the shorthanded Knicks, who also missed Quentin Grimes due to a non-COVID illness, to the Indiana Pacers on December 30. McBride scored five points on 2-of-3 shooting and dished out one assist.
Long buried in the Knicks bench, McBride will replace Quickley in the second unit.
The Knicks also picked up another point guard, Malachi Flynn, in the deal with the Raptors. But his future with the team is uncertain as he will become a restricted free agent at the end of the season.
Selected five picks ahead of McBride in 2020, the 25-year-old Flynn averaged 5.1 points, 2.4 assists and 2.1 rebounds in 31 games with the Raptors this season.
NBA Exec Hints at Julius Randle Trade
While Anunoby fills a need for the Knicks, it was not the blockbuster star trade many are expecting. But the move was lauded around the league as the Knicks kept their powder dry for the next big move.
“My initial reaction was the Knicks overpaid because of the hypothetical value you could maybe get for Quickley on paper in a separate deal,” an NBA executive told HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto. “But the Knicks are in a good place to use Julius Randle and picks to make another big move, so that justifies them giving up two of their scoring options. Anunoby’s health is also a factor that’ll help determine how this trade ages.”
Randle has become a polarizing figure in New York, whose highs have led to two All-Star and All-NBA selections and helped the Knicks to two playoff appearances while his lows have led to several run-ins with game officials and fans.
After a poor start following an offseason ankle surgery, Randle is nearing his All-Star form. He is averaging 23.6 points, 9.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists. But his 3-point shooting had dropped to a four-year low of 28%.
OG Anunoby Makes Knicks Debut
Anunoby makes his much-anticipated debut for the Knicks when they open the new year with a home game against the Western Conference’s top team, Minnesota Timberwolves.
SNY’s Ian Begley broke the news a few hours before the January 1, 3 p.m. tip-off.
The 6-foot-7 Anunoby, who boasts a 7’2 wingspan, is the big wing the Knicks have been missing.
Precious Achiuwa, an underrated Knicks pickup in the trade, will also help fill the Robinson void in the paint.
Alder Almo is a basketball journalist covering the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors for Heavy. He has more than 15 years of experience in local and international media, including broadcast, print and digital. He previously covered the Knicks for Empire Sports Media and the NBA for Off the Glass. Alder is from the Philippines and is now based in Jersey City, New Jersey. More about Alder Almo
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