RJ Barrett is now a very wealthy man. Knicks forward I signed the contract extension earlier this week worth at least $107 million. He should be on top of the world by now. However, as the old saying goes, money cannot necessarily buy happiness. And I’m starting to wonder how happy RJ is with this week’s events.
As we have noticed, news of RJ’s extension came with a frustrating warning, as Adrian Wojnarowski and others reported that the Knicks had offered RJ to Utah in a deal for Donovan Mitchell. At the time, I was hoping the front office would use the threat of exile to Utah to get RJ to sign the extension for less money. sleazy? Yes, but the front office definitely doesn’t actually want to trade the baby, even with an all-star like Mitchell. However, RJ-to-the-Jazz rumors continued to surface.
The Knicks’ last show was allegedly RJ, Immanuel Quickley, plus three first-round picks (one of which was a top 5 protected player). Our Matt Miranda Reflection That the Knicks were really lucky that jazz head Danny Inge never accepted the offer, choosing instead to send Mitchell to Cleveland. However, the ease with which the front office continued to plow RJ into deals left a bad taste in the mouths of many fans.
Mark Berman dropped another incendiary bomb In the situation on Friday evening, citing sources within the organization who claimed that Nix was not happy with the extension of Royal Jordanian.
In fact, according to an NBA source, the Knicks would have preferred not to sign Barrett for a massive contract extension at the moment. They at least wanted to wait until the mid-October deadline to see him at training camp — or until July 1, when he would have hit free agency.
Barrett was drafted ahead of Rose and CEO William Wesley’s time with the team. Scott Perry, general manager of the Knicks, picked Barrett in 2019, and even then it wasn’t unanimous.
“They didn’t want to pay RJ now, they like RJ, but he’s not one of their buddies,” an NBA source said. “The preference was to trade it in the Donovan deal. … [I]If they got Donovan without Barrett in the deal, they wouldn’t pay RJ now.
RJ Barrett is a polarizing player in NBA circles. We all know his efficiency problems and his lack of elite sportsmanship. But he also averaged 20 points last season in a Knicks attack that was only slightly spaced out. He shot 40% of three the previous season, all while ranking high among the league leaders in her minutes playing for the Eastern seed No. 4. He can contribute to winning basketball. He already has. And when he entered the Knicks’ 2021-22 season in the tank, it was RJ who upped his game while Julius Randle frowned at fans and his teammates.
RJ doesn’t deserve the max yet, and he didn’t get the max. Knicks fans usually don’t agree on anything, but we were almost universal in praising Barrett’s stretch. It should have been a moment of celebration. Instead, both fans and RJ were left confused about the media leaks. Where do they come from? Is it trainer Tom Thibodeau, the infamous source of Berman? If so, I’ll tell him anything right away. If he was a senior member of the front office, things would get a little more complicated.
Either way, all that noise should only serve to strengthen the bonds between fans of RJ and Knicks. If RJ can improve as the 2022-23 season approaches – if he can lead the Knicks to something like respectability – “RJ-BAR-RETT!” The garden hymns will deafen. RJ may not be the player the front office wanted, but he sure is one of us.