New York Knicks: What’s next in RJ Barrett’s development?

RJ Barrett, NY Knicks. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
RJ Barrett, NY Knicks. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
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Knicks, RJ Barrett
RJ Barrett, Knicks. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

Knicks: Is there more room for RJ Barrett to be a facilitator?

Listed as a shooting guard, Barrett has always leaned into the camp of a wing rather than combo guard. While that’s nothing to be ashamed of, it does say something about the faith the coaching staff has in his ability to reliably playmate for others.

When it comes to Barrett’s playmaking skills, it’s less a question of how and more a question of how much. As a wing, he’s had some flashes of truly great passing vision. He can lead the break, throw skip passes to cutters, and we’ve all seen his perfectly timed lob passes on the daily highlight reels.

With the passing talent he has as a 6’6 athletic wing, why wouldn’t coach Thibodeau want to experiment with more point-Barrett action?  RJ Barrett is currently at a 23% usage rate, which is actually down from his rookie season. This could be due to that his newfound shooting ability now allows him to play as a spacer off the ball, but it still puts him 94th in the league alongside guys like Rudy Gay and Hassan Whiteside.

With Randle thriving as a point-forward, and a new wave of guard talent on the roster with Rose and Quickly, Barrett might not get the playmaking touches he deserves right away.  This is more of a long-term goal for him.  But again, when it comes to playmaking, it’s not a question of how, only how much.