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RJ Barrett lands four-year extension with the New York Knicks, ends Donovan Mitchell trade talks

Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett has been the subject of trade talks involving Utah Jazz star guard Donovan Mitchell in recent weeks. By now, it’s well-known that New York is favored to land Mitchell in a blockbuster with Utah. Without getting too much into details, Barrett’s involvement in said deal is now out of the question.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday evening that the Knicks have signed Barrett to a four-year rookie extension that could pay him upwards of $120 million.

In said report, Woj concludes that this complicates the Knicks talks involving Mitchell and the Jazz. Primarily, the issue is a poison pill on Barrett’s new extension that makes it nearly impossible for him to be the centerpiece in a deal with Utah.

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Donovan Mitchell trade talks to the New York Knicks now dead

donovan mitchell, rj barrett
Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Following his initial report, Wojnarowski indicated that Knicks president Leon Rose had set a Monday night deadline for Utah to reach an agreement on a deal that would send Mitchell to the Big Apple. If said deadline passed, New York would commit to RJ Barrett on a long-term extension. That’s now come to fruition.

The Knicks and Jazz had come closer to a blockbuster in recent days. But were not able to get it over the finish line. Reportedly, Utah was demanding a package of Barrett, Mitchell Robinson and at least three first-round picks for the All-Star guard. It’s possible the two sides could get together without Barrett being involved. But that seems highly unlikely.

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RJ Barrett extension with the New York Knicks will have widespread ramifications

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Just recently, it was reported that Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau would rather have parted ways with RJ Barrett than young guard Quentin Grimes in a trade for Mitchell.

“There is belief around the league Thibodeau would prefer to give up Barrett in a deal than shooting guard Quentin Grimes, who is coming off a solid rookie year, and a summer league in which he looked quicker and more sculpted. Grimes is a better defender and 3-point shooter than Barrett.”

Marc Berman of the NY Post

While Barrett would ultimately agree to the aforementioned extension, one now has to wonder how his relationship with Thibodeau will be impacted moving forward. What we do know is that the former No. 3 overall pick from Duke has stepped his game up big time.

  • RJ Barrett stats (2021-22): 20.0 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 3.0 APG, 41% shooting, 34% 3-point, 13.7 PER

Barrett, 22, will now be a part of the Knicks’ nucleus with free-agent signing Jalen Brunson and a young core moving forward. As for Mitchell and the Jazz, it’s back to the drawing board.

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