Questions surrounding RJ Barrett after the Knicks big contract

RJ Barrett attended an event from Puma earlier this week to reveal his first “Player Edition” shoe. The right boot is called the Fusion Nitro RJ, the left is blue and the left red.

The maple leaf on the tongue used to represent Canada. Red is also native to it. The color blue symbolizes Duke. The maple mamba badge, also on the tongue, represents his high school nickname – out of respect for Kobe Bryant.

Barrett said he will soon reveal a pair of Nax boots. The Knicks would rather be able to one day unveil the All-Star shoe.

“I’m ready to participate in the conversation and show what I can do,” Barrett said on stage when asked by KnicksFanTV’s host Casey Powell about his All-Star’s aspirations. “Every year I get better. There is no better time than now.”

Barrett Contract extension for four years That kicks in 2023-24 will pay him $24 million in the first year. The entire enchilada game adds a guarantee of up to $107 million with rewards ranging from $1 million to $1.2 million for each of your All-Star, All-NBA, or All-Defense nods.

Knicks winger RJ Barrett (9) leads the Hornets on March 30, 2022.
Knicks winger RJ Barrett (9) leads the Hornets on March 30, 2022.
Charles Wenselberg/New York Post

If he becomes an All-Star, that’s a good deal with the Knicks. if not…

“I wouldn’t be surprised if the contract ended up looking like an overpayment,” said an NBA worker. “But I don’t blame the Knicks for signing the extension. Regardless of expectations, he has improved to become a strong NBA player who can attack. I don’t think he’s good enough to be a top three player on your squad. But some opinions about him are colored by expectations as the No. 3 pick. in the draft.

Although Barrett averaged 20 points per game, he still had holes in his game as evidenced by his poor efficiency stats (46.6 effective percentage of low ranked field goals).

He’s a career free-throw shooter at 69.7 percent — a modest number that worried Knicks for the number of times he hits the line.

Working this season in Los Angeles with coach Drew Hanlin, Barrett has been heavy with the fundamentals in developing more of a mid-range drag game away from dribbling. He also worked to finish more efficiently at the edge. Hanlin declined to be interviewed for this story.

“I’ve been doing a free throw this year,” said Barrett, who admitted that team CEO Alan Houston was his top mentor. “I go to the basket a lot, and I must have made a mistake.”

Another scout said that Barrett’s best trait is his confidence, that he can take a horrific match or half-scary and come right back and not lose an ounce of bravado. In addition, the New York theater does not frighten the Canadian, whose mother is from Brooklyn.

Knicks winger RJ Barrett (9) hits the Heat on February 25, 2022.
Knicks winger RJ Barrett (9) hits the Heat on February 25, 2022.
Charles Wenselberg/New York Post

But there’s a reason Barrett was hanging out so prominently Donovan Mitchell Trade Talks. Coming out of the draft, the concern was that the left-handed only went to one side and his 3-point shot wouldn’t be anywhere near all-star quality for the winger.

“He’s a left-handed dominator and he needs to do more – play defensively and not just wait for a chance to get the ball,” the man said. “He was never a guy I was worried about. When Barrett got the ball in the corner for 3, I wasn’t on pins and needles. Or even group play and isolation. We are relieved that we can guard him.”

Its durability is another asset that is often overlooked in emerging prospects. Barrett has only missed 21 games in three seasons, having played 71 of 72 during the Knicks 41-31 season in 2020-21.

“He’s a guy of 22,” said the man, “but I don’t know if he’s good at anything.” “I don’t know if there’s anything he’s elite in. But he’s a guy who shows up to play, never misses matches, and can be relied upon.”

“In trying to determine value and value, it’s going to come down to whether he can improve to a point – his 3-point shot, defensively, making play for his teammates – that he’s good enough to be your third best player (in the top match team). Then it would be worth it and justify his draft position and make up for it. But it wouldn’t be 1 or 2..”

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