July 5th 2015: The New York Knicks agree to sign Kyle O’Quinn
The Knicks agreed to bring Queens native Kyle O’Quinn home on a 4 year contract worth $16 million. It took a sign-and-trade to officially bring O’Quinn home. The Knicks sent cash and the right to swap a 2019 2nd round pick utilized in this past draft.
During his tenure with the Magic, O’Quinn proved to be an efficient backup center with a knack to pass the ball and defend his position. Phil Jackson especially envisioned his passing abilities when signing him to a contract.
One of O’Quinn’s motivations to come home was to be close to his family. Unfortunately, O’Quinn suffered tragedy shortly after his signing when his father passed away in an automobile crash.
O’Quinn had an okay first season, but it was largely clouded by the tragedy surrounding his father. He showed marked improvement in his 2nd season under new coach Jeff Hornacek. O’Quinn not only blocked more than 100 shots, but showcased some of his signature backdoor passes to the Knicks wings.
In the 2017-18 season, O’Quinn cemented a role as the Knicks’ primary backup center due to his defense. He posted career highs in nearly every category including points, FG%, rebounds, and assists.
In addition to his performance on the floor, O’Quinn proved to be an exemplary citizen off the court. He appeared at plenty of Knicks community events, G-League games, and even New York Liberty games. O’Quinn basked in being back home in New York and embraced the local basketball scene in any way possible.
After the 2017-18 season, O’Quinn opted out of his final season to sign a 1 year contract with the Indiana Pacers. Overall, this was probably one of Phil Jackson’s best acquisitions. I hope O’Quinn comes back home this season.
Knicks Film School Historian, amongst other things