RJ Barrett’s faces critical 2022 for the New York Knicks

RJ Barrett, New York Knicks. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
RJ Barrett, New York Knicks. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
3 of 4

RJ Barrett can look like the New York Knicks savior

It feels like with perimeter players it can be easy to just focus on the flashiness. The players with 5-dribble combos and the athletes who explode by defenders with a quick first step.

There really isn’t a lot of love for things like body control and strength and how they can be a massive advantage on the court. RJ Barrett has some of the best body control and strength of any young player in the league.

You see it on the court. Defenders just cannot knock him off of his spot. He is an absolute wrecking ball when he drives to the rim and it’s such an advantage for someone with his physical measurements.

Barrett has a filled-out frame and long wingspan and you can see how hard it is to get a proper contest on his shot because of that strength/length combination.

Even when it comes to his bag, Barrett may not have the moves of a flashy guard, but he has really developed some excellent maneuvers that allow him to get to the rim.

Little hesitations, head fakes, long crossovers, silky smooth eurosteps — Barrett has no problem getting to the rim. That’s what makes his lack of finishing so maddening and confusing… he has ZERO problem getting to the rim, he just doesn’t have the softest touch when he gets there.

He grades exceptionally well in drawing fouls (84th percentile for wings). Barrett has been fantastic in transition as well.

That same natural ability to find his spots has shown up in his long-range shooting as well. Barrett is light years more comfortable taking 3-pointers from where he was in his rookie season.

It’s not just scoring either, Barrett has a great feel for where his teammates are. The “tunnel vision” from his college scouting reports really has not been bad in the NBA. Whenever RJ Barrett has gotten the chance, he’s been a great wing facilitator for the New York Knicks. He has a knack for making extremely effective, simple reads when he’s running the 2-man game.

That ability to use strength and athleticism to get to your spots is just not something you see frequently with young players, and it’s what gives fans hope that RJ Barrett, who is still just 21 years old, can develop into an All-Star level player.