The New York Knicks made a massive move on Saturday when they traded RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley in a package for Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby, but they followed it up with a much smaller one. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Knicks have extended reserve guard Miles “Deuce” McBride with a three-year, $13 million deal.
The move makes plenty of strategic sense for the Knicks. McBride, 23, the No. 36 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, has shown promise in what little playing time he has received. He played at least 20 minutes only eight times all of last season, but he scored in double-digit figures in half of those games. The issue for McBride has been New York’s depth. With Quickley, Jalen Brunson, Quentin Grimes and, now, Donte DiVincenzo in their backcourt, the Knicks just didn’t have minutes available for him.
But now that Quickley and Barrett are gone, the Knicks have some minutes available in their backcourt. Those minutes will likely go to McBride, and the Knicks have inked him at a price that would be a bargain even for an average reserve. The hope is that McBride will be far better and that the Knicks will have locked up an important player at a minuscule price.
In college at West Virginia, McBride made his name as a defender. Though he is only 6-foot-1, he has a ridiculous 6-foot-9 wingspan that makes him valuable both on the ball and off of it. His offense has steadily improved in the NBA, but he made only 28.2% of his 3-pointers in his first two seasons. That is going to be a problem for a Knicks team that has emphasized shooting this season. He’s 7-for-17 on the year from deep, a sample far too small to be meaningful long-term.
Quickley was expected to command a contract in the range of $25 million per year in free agency. McBride is not nearly as accomplished as Quickley, but at the price the Knicks are paying him, he won’t need to be. The Knicks may not have one of the best reserve guards in the NBA anymore, but with this deal, they’ve locked in a replacement they hope will find ways to contribute to a far cheaper deal.