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#pounditThursday, September 29, 2022

Articles tagged: RJ Barrett

Knicks had awkward announcement as Donovan Mitchell trade news broke

Tom Thibodeau looking on

Jan 2, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau reacts during the first half against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks’ pursuit of Donovan Mitchell was ultimately unsuccessful, but they remain masters at comedic timing, if nothing else.

The Knicks’ summer-long pursuit of Mitchell officially ended in failure Thursday, as the Utah Jazz traded the guard to the Cleveland Cavaliers instead. That news broke on social media on Thursday afternoon, and it happened right as the Knicks made their own announcement.

The initial reports of the Mitchell trade perfectly coincided with the Knicks’ official announcement of forward RJ Barrett’s four-year, $120 million contract extension.

Did the Knicks know the Mitchell news was coming and time it accordingly? That’s pretty unlikely. They may have been aware they struck out in their efforts to land Mitchell, but it’s tough to believe they had the Barrett announcement queued up for the exact same time as the initial reports would come out.

This is probably just salt in the wound for Knicks fans, regardless of whether Mitchell winds up being worth the cost or not. In reality, the Barrett extension probably significantly reduced the likelihood that the Knicks could get something done for Mitchell, especially since Cleveland was able to dangle guard Collin Sexton in trade talks with Utah.

Whatever the case, it looks like another PR loss for the Knicks. This could work out well for them from a basketball perspective, but this is an awkward look for them at the moment.

Knicks’ RJ Barrett contract extension could have significant consequence

RJ Barrett in a Knicks uniform

Jan 10, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) celebrates after making a basket against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks and RJ Barrett on Monday agreed to a big contract extension that could have some significant consequences.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski shared the news about the Barrett contract. Barrett is getting a four-year, $120 million contract extension from the Knicks.

According to Woj, the Barrett deal could end the Knicks’ pursuit of a trade for Donovan Mitchell.

Woj says the Knicks had imposed a Monday night deadline to get a Mitchell trade done or they would commit to the Barrett extension.

The rookie extension could complicate a Mitchell trade due to the “poison pill” circumstance. If the Knicks were to include Barrett in a trade to Utah after agreeing to the rookie extension, and before the extension takes effect, the accounting would be tougher for the Jazz. For the Knicks, only Barrett’s lower 2022-2023 salary would count against them in trade salary matching. But for a team acquiring Barrett, the forward’s 2022-2023 salary plus the average value of his extension would count against them. The uneven values makes it more complicated to trade a player who has agreed to a rookie extension before said extension takes effect.

Barrett was the No. 3 overall pick by the Knicks in 2019. The 22-year-old averaged 20.0 points and 5.8 rebounds per game last season.

Knicks taking 1 bizarre stance in trade negotiations?

Tom Thibodeau looking on

Jan 2, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau reacts during the first half against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks appear to be taking a stance that would make you think Whoopi Goldberg was still their head coach.

Marc Berman of the New York Post reported this week that there is a belief around the NBA that Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau would prefer to give up swingman RJ Barrett over guard Quentin Grimes in a potential trade.

Grimes, 22, was selected by the Knicks with the No. 25 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. He looked promising as a rookie, shooting 38.1 percent from deep with plus defense. But the full picture is still incomplete since Grimes saw just 17.1 minutes per game over 46 total appearances.

At face value, the notion that the Knicks would be willing to part with Barrett over Grimes is a major shocker. Barrett, who is actually a month younger than Grimes, is arguably the best player currently on the Knicks roster. Entering his fourth NBA season, Barrett is already a 20-point-per-game scorer who stuffs the stat sheet in virtually every category and also helps anchor the Knicks defensively as a large, disruptive wing. About the only argument there is for Grimes over Barrett is the money factor (as the latter is already eligible for a lucrative extension while the former still has three years left on his rookie deal).

It is worth noting that, unlike his previous stop in Minnesota, Thibodeau does not have a final say over basketball operations. Instead, he collaborates with the Knicks’ other key decision-makers such as president Leon Rose and GM Scott Perry. But there have also been other indications that the team values Grimes extremely highly.

Knicks’ pursuit of Donovan Mitchell trade could have major roadblock?

Donovan Mitchell looks on

Jan 16, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) during the second half against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks’ chances of landing Donovan Mitchell may be starting to fade like Marty McFly’s family photo.

In an episode this week of his “Please Don’t Aggregate This” podcast, Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer revealed that the Utah Jazz are not interested in Knicks star RJ Barrett as part of a Mitchell trade.

“I’ve heard pretty consistently the Jazz don’t really have much interest in trading for RJ Barrett and paying for him,” said Fischer, per HoopsHype.

That could be a major problem for the Knicks if the Jazz do not want to take back Barrett. The 22-year-old is New York’s highest-value young player and averaged 20 points per game last year with suffocating defense. But Utah’s stance makes sense since Barrett is eligible for a hefty rookie extension, one the Jazz, who are in payroll disintegration mode, may not want to give him.

We recently heard the Knicks were getting frustrated with Utah for trying to bleed them dry in Mitchell trade talks. If the Jazz are not interested in a key piece the Knicks have to offer, that could further complicate the situation.

Report: Knicks believe they can keep 1 key player in Donovan Mitchell trade

Donovan Mitchell warming up

Dec 7, 2019; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) warms up prior to their game against the Memphis Grizzlies at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

RJ Barrett is considered one of the New York Knicks’ most valuable trade assets in their pursuit of a superstar player, but they are reportedly confident they can keep the young guard in one potential blockbuster deal.

Sources told Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer that Knicks personnel are confident they could land Donovan Mitchell in a trade with the Utah Jazz without giving up Barrett. Part of the reason for that is that Barrett is openly seeking a max contract extension, and the Jazz may not want to give him one.

The Knicks are loaded with first-round draft picks and can offer up to eight of them in a trade. Utah will also want some talented players in return, and Barrett certainly falls under that category. The former No. 3 overall pick has improved in each of his first three NBA seasons. He averaged 20.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists across 70 games last season.

New York has been viewed as the most likely landing spot for Mitchell. If the Jazz do not insist on Barrett being part of the deal, that could increase the chances of a trade coming together.

Knicks reluctant to include key player in Donovan Mitchell trade?

Donovan Mitchell warming up

Dec 7, 2019; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) warms up prior to their game against the Memphis Grizzlies at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks have been frequently linked to a potential Donovan Mitchell trade, but the organization may not be willing to give up the necessary pieces to realistically achieve a deal.

Knicks sources have recently said the team would not be willing to trade RJ Barrett in any deal, according to Ian Begley of SNY. While it is possible Mitchell’s potential availability could change that stance, Begley is skeptical that it would.

If Barrett is off the table, it becomes difficult to see how the two teams match up in a trade. While the Knicks can trade up to eight future first-round selections in a Mitchell deal, they probably would not want to trade all eight, and some players might be a necessity. Earlier reports suggested that Barrett would probably be a must in any Knicks effort to trade for Mitchell.

The Knicks have been frequently linked to Mitchell, and their interest appears real. Whether they can consummate a deal probably depends on how desperately they want the Utah Jazz guard, because the price will be steep.

Knicks fans will love what RJ Barrett had to say after latest win

RJ Barrett on the court

RJ Barrett has been blowing up for the New York Knicks lately, and fans will love his most recent comment.

The New York Knicks beat the Los Angeles Clippers 110-102 on Sunday. Barrett led his team with 28 points and 14 rebounds.

Barrett has stepped up this month and entered Sunday averaging 22.4 points per game in January on 45.3 percent shooting. Those numbers blow away his career averages of 16.3 points on 42.3 percent shooting.

Despite his recent success, Barrett is not celebrating or getting ahead of himself. The third-year guard says he is still “hungry” and not getting carried away with anything he has accomplished.

That sounds like a player who is focused and has the right attitude. That type of mentality is what can result in a player continuing to get better. Knicks fans have to love that.

The Knicks are a game under .500 but right there with a group of teams competing for the No. 8 spot in the East.

Photo: Jan 10, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) celebrates after making a basket against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Knicks players making habit of clowning 1 particular local reporter

RJ Barrett on the court

The New York Knicks players do not seem to be very fond of one local reporter in particular.

After a loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday, Knicks big man Mitchell Robinson clowned Marc Berman of the New York Post. After Berman asked a seemingly incendiary question, Robinson replied, “Berman, relax. Relax.”

Knicks guard RJ Barrett then used Robinson’s same line to begin his press conference on Saturday. Before taking questions, Barrett looked right at Berman and said, “Berman, relax. Relax.”

While the moments might have appeared light-hearted on the surface, the players have made clear on other occasions that they do not like Berman’s questions. Earlier in the week, Barrett called out Berman at another press conference, telling him, “You like to put people in tough spots, don’t you?”

A compilation video posted by the account @NBA_NewYork also showed that Berman has a history of stirring the pot when it comes to the Knicks. Here is the video (but beware of some bad language).

Indeed, Berman has reported this season on the alleged issues in the Knicks locker room, among other subjects. After their memorable playoff berth last year, the Knicks are back under .500 this season, opening themselves up to more room for scrutiny.

The Knicks organization already got fined this week over a media issue. Now their players appear to be taking a different approach with the press and with Berman in particular.

Photo: Jan 10, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) celebrates after making a basket against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Surprising name on list of top NBA jerseys sold

RJ Barrett on the court

NBA jerseys are selling like hotcakes, as they typically do. And atop the list are the usual suspects: LeBron James, Steph Curry and a smattering of others. But this month, they’ve been joined by an unexpected name: New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett.

The league released their jersey sales data on Friday, including the top 15 sellers. And there at No. 14 overall was Barrett, one spot ahead of Lamelo Ball and one spot behind Devin Booker.

Although Barrett was a surprise in the top 15, it was not nearly as shocking to see that Knicks merchandise sells exceptionally well.

For Barrett, who has come on strong in recent weeks, this marks his debut on the NBA’s top 15 jersey sales list.

In 39 games this season, Barrett is averaging 16.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. He’s No. 2 on the team in scoring and defensive rebounds behind Julius Randle (18.8 PPG, 8.2 DRB). The Knicks are 22-24.

Image: Jan 10, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) celebrates after making a basket against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Video: RJ Barrett beats Celtics with buzzer-beater

RJ Barrett shoots

The New York Knicks completed a comeback against the Boston Celtics on Thursday night, and it was RJ Barrett who delivered the final knockout punch.

The Knicks were taking out the ball in a 105-105 game with 1.5 seconds left. They inbounded to Barrett, who was well-defended. Despite the tough coverage, Barrett got a shot off and made it to win the game.

That counted as a 3-pointer and gave the Knicks a 108-105 win.

Not only was the degree of difficulty for the shot very high, but Barrett was only 3/14 in the game prior to making that shot, so he had been struggling.

If Barrett was the hero, then Evan Fournier was the big star for the Knicks. Fournier shot 15/25 for 41 points and went 10/14 on threes to help the comeback.

The Knicks trailed by 25 in the second quarter and by 20 in the third quarter. Fournier helped keep them in the game, and then Barrett delivered the winning shot.