The New York Knicks have one of the youngest budding stars in the NBA right now, and that is RJ Barrett. The Toronto native has the potential to develop into a number one scoring option on a winning team. The 21-year-old has emerged as the face of his team this season, but can he become a legitimate superstar for New York?
Since the start of the 2022 calendar year, the third-year wing has shown that he’s capable of scoring at a high rate. With that being said, if Barrett wants to take an even bigger step next season, he has a few things to work on in the offseason.
RJ Barrett must improve his free-throw shooting with Knicks
Many superstars in the NBA today have struggled from the charity stripe early on in their careers, so fans shouldn’t be too worried that Barrett’s only connected on only 72.1% of his free throws.
Nonetheless, Barrett still must work to improve his free throw shooting in the offseason. Multiple times this season he’s even become frustrated with his inconsistency from the line.
Since Dec. 31 of last year, Barrett’s been on a tear, averaging nearly 24 points per game, while shooting over 35% from deep. He’s also gotten to the rim much more as well. The downside, though, is his free-throw shooting. If he can change that, he’ll drastically improve his scoring average moving forward.
RJ Barrett must continue to get easy baskets for the New York Knicks
This season, Barrett’s been scoring effortlessly for New York. Next year, he must continue getting easy baskets. Specifically, if he can develop a consistent mid-range jump shot, he’ll be one of the most dangerous scoring threats in the league.
Superstar wing players in today’s NBA thrive from mid-range, such as DeMar DeRozan, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard. As of recent, Barrett’s shown that he can get to his spots and knock down easy shots for the Knicks.
RJ Barrett needs to improve his playmaking skills with the Knicks
Scoring and defense have been Barrett’s bread and butter this season. Playmaking is another area of his game that he can work on this summer. Barrett can take his game to the next level if he becomes both a better dribbler and passer.
During his recent scoring surge since the start of the new year, he’s only averaged slightly over three assists per game. It’s crucial that Barrett can improve this stat, especially with New York’s inconsistencies at the point guard position. By doing so, the Knicks will win more games next season.
Barrett is a natural passer of the basketball, but he needs to execute more passes. It will allow him to get to his spots much easier too because opposing defenses won’t be able to double team him.
He’s shown that he’s capable of initiating New York’s offense, but he needs to do so on a more consistent basis.
Not only does Barrett need to continue to improve his passing, but he must also work on his dribbling skills in the coming months. If he can break down defenders with his ball-handling, he’ll become a more dangerous threat on the offensive side of the floor.
RJ Barrett’s outlook with the New York Knicks
The potential is there for Barrett to continue to up his game to an even higher level in the future. His confidence to be one of the very best players in the league is clear as daylight. Barrett’s emerged as the leader of this young Knicks roster with his stellar play this season.
Defending, finishing, and shooting from deep is no problem for him, but adding more to his game in the offseason will be crucial for his development.
If Barrett can start knocking down free throws at a more consistent rate, continue to get easy baskets, and improve his playmaking skills, then Barrett will have no issue becoming the consistent star that New York has been hoping for.