NY Knicks: Comparing RJ Barrett’s 2nd season to Jimmy Butler’s 3rd

RJ Barrett, New York Knicks (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
RJ Barrett, New York Knicks (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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NY Knicks, RJ Barrett
NY Knicks, RJ Barrett (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The other day via Twitter, I proclaimed that Coach Thibs is turning the NY Knicks‘ very own RJ Barrett into a new age version of Jimmy Butler that can shoot 3’s at 40%.

You can check that Tweet out here.

Really, the resemblances in their games are absolutely uncanny at this point.

The way RJ was able to shut down Kawhi Leonard at times during the game against the Clippers a few days ago just reminded me so much of Jimmy.

I’ve actually written an article about the comparison between the two, and back then I barely had a leg to stand on and was mainly just trying to strike up an interesting conversation.

Sure, there may have been some similarities between both players but nothing compared to how it looks today.

RJ Barrett has grown and improved by a substantial amount just over the last few months alone.

Jimmy Butler and NY Knicks’ RJ Barrett have a whole lot in common

So at first, I wanted to write this article comparing RJ to Jimmy at the age of 20…

Can’t do that because Jimmy didn’t come into the league until he was 22 years old.

Just goes to show how much more time RJ has to develop and become even better than he is today.

So then I wanted to compare RJ’s second season and Jimmy’s third season in the league instead.

Just a heads up as to why I chose Jimmy’s 3rd season instead of both player’s sophomore campaigns…

Butler averaged just over 8 points per game and this wouldn’t be that interesting of an article.

So the third season it is!

Both men are bigger shooting guards that play a little small forward when called upon.

Both use brute strength as a primary weapon on offense.

Jimmy may have always been the better defender between the two but clearly, RJ has plenty of time left to improve even more on that side.

Both have playmaking capabilities. Jimmy is clearly the far superior facilitator of the two but again, RJ will improve over time.

We as Knicks fans have an exciting, young prospect on our hands and when he’s drawing comparisons to a player the caliber of Jimmy Butler BUT also has the ability to shoot 3’s at a high clip…

It’s special.

Let’s explore the comparisons between the two earlier on in their careers.