If the New York Knicks make a major trade this summer — or even during next season — for a star player, an NBA executive claims RJ Barrett will definitely be included in the deal.
While New York Knicks fans were disappointed with how the team’s season ended in the 2023 NBA Playoffs, there were a lot of positives that came out of the season. Young players like Miles McBride and Quentin Grimes took nice steps forward. Immanuel Quickley turned into an elite reserves talent. Julius Randle recaptured his All-NBA form of 2020-2021, and Jalen Brunson turned into the new face of the franchise.
However, one player that took a bit of a step back despite their success was RJ Barrett. In 2022-2023, his points, rebounds, assists, and three-point percent numbers were all slightly down when they need to increase after being given a huge four-year, $107 million contract extension last summer. And it has made him a bit more expendable heading into the offseason.
There has been speculation that the New York Knicks could be aggressive to improve the roster this offseason since they seem to be one good piece away from being a legitimate title contender soon. Names like Karl-Anthony Towns, Paul George, and OG Anunoby have all been linked to the team as possible targets since their season ended.
New York Knicks record (’22-’23): 47-35
On Monday, Heavy.com NBA insider Sean Deveney spoke with a general manager for a rival Eastern Conference team, and in their mind, the New York Knicks will be open to moving RJ Barrett in the offseason. However, he would only be moved as a part of a blockbuster trade for a star player.
“[Barrett] will be a piece if they make a major deal. They’re not going to just trade RJ as the main component of a trade, but if they want to get [Damian] Lillard or KAT or even OG Anunoby or (Pascal) Siakam, it is probably going to mean including him. But if it is not a player like that, then they will keep RJ and maybe try to move him next summer if he does not take that step forward.”– Heavy.com
In the NBA, matching up the money is huge in potential trades, and due to his upside and the money owed to him over the next few seasons, RJ Barrett makes a lot of sense as a centerpiece of any major trade the New York Knicks make this summer. This is bad news for NYK fans hoping they can hold on to their homegrown talent after a major move.