NY Knicks: Comparing RJ Barrett to 3 third-year breakout players

RJ Barrett, Paul George, NY Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
RJ Barrett, Paul George, NY Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /
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NY Knicks
NY Knicks, RJ Barrett (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

The NY Knicks are heading into the season with high hopes. Coming off of their best year in recent memory, fans are hoping the team can take it a step further this season with their new additions and further development from the young players.

NY Knicks: Can RJ Barrett take another leap forward?

One player who always seems to be surrounded in debates is 3rd-year player RJ Barrett.

Barrett has the highest draft pedigree among the Knicks young players so with that pedigree comes high expectations.

Last season, RJ Barrett took a statistical jump forward that even the most optimistic of supporters couldn’t have seen coming. Jumping from 40.2 percent from the field and 32 percent from three to 44.1 percent from the field 40.1 percent from three is nothing to scoff at.

Still, there is a lot of conversation that surrounds Barrett and what exactly his ceiling is as a player. It’s a lot of debate for a player who just turned 21 this summer.

Can RJ Barrett take another leap in his 3rd year?

It may be tough for the jumps to show up in the stat sheet. The Knicks have a lot more offensive firepower on their perimeter this season, so we may not see a huge jump in RJ Barrett’s attempts per game.


Barrett can contribute in so many different ways and in various roles, and that kind of versatility and attitude is going to be rewarded with playing time from Tom Thibodeau.

Every NBA player has a different evolution in their career. For a Pokemon comp, I would say Barrett seems to be in his Charmeliom/Ivysaur/Wartortle stage. Around levels 20-25.

Let’s look at some other players in the NBA who took major steps forward in year three.