Our scouting report on NBA draft prospect Immanuel Quickley:
- Position: PG
- Height: 6-3
- Weight: 188
- School: Kentucky
Immanuel Quickley greatly benefited from staying in school for his sophomore season. Yes, Kentucky does sometimes let players return after their freshman year; who knew? Quickley started a little slow out of the gates but quickly (no pun intended) proved to be a valuable and reliable scorer for the Wildcats. It earned him SEC Player of the Year honors, no small feat in a conference that has several NBA-caliber players.
Traditionally, Quickley is a point guard. His size and his speed show that. But he's a very good three-point shooter, maybe even to the detriment of his inside-the-arc scoring ability. He played shooting guard and off the ball more at Kentucky because Tyrese Maxey burst on the scene and took over PG duties.
However, Quickley flourished in his scoring role. For the season, he shot nearly 43 percent from three-point range, and during SEC play, that number ballooned to nearly 48 percent. From his freshman to his sophomore season, he doubled his perimeter shooting volume, taking almost five threes per game this past season. One thing that always shows me a player is a good natural shooter is free throws. Quickley was No. 3 in the nation in free throw percentage and the No. 1 power conference player at over 92 percent.
He's also an excellent defender. Quickley's 6-foot-8 wingspan, rangy form and speed allow him to stay in front of both quick guards and crafty scorers. He uses his strength, which is deceiving given his slight frame, and can absorb contact on a driver in the lane as well as when he's going to the hoop to finish.
Because Maxey primarily played point guard for Kentucky with Ashton Hagans as the backup, Quickley wasn't tasked with ball handling much. As such, he is a little sloppy with the ball. The numbers: 1.9 assists to 1.6 turnovers. Those are not stats you want from your point guard.
Also, it seems weird to see, but Quickley's two-point shooting percentage is lower than his three-point percentage (41 to 43 percent). That's unusual for a guard but also reflects the role in which Quickley played in Kentucky's system.
He also struggles at times with creating offense for others. Again, not something ideal for a point guard at the next level, but also something that's hard to say is not a result of playing off the ball and moving to a combo guard role. Quickley will have to prove that he can play point with reliability and confidence.
For the Sixers, Quickley would be a good fit. He's not a traditional point guard but is a scoring guard with a sharpshooter mentality. His defense is ideal for the system the Sixers run as well as his ability to get up and down the court with speed. Being a 3-and-D player is an excellent match for the Sixers, especially off the bench.
This year's squad lacked that scoring punch off the bench, as well as a reliable three-point threat. Quickley could be that quality NBA scorer and defender the Sixers need in their second unit. He is young and will need an NBA regime to improve his size. He's likely a late first-rounder, but depending on how the draft shakes out, maybe even early second round.