Despite false hope of a big splash being confirmed following the NBA Draft’s conclusion last week, it was made clear that Leon Rose and the New York Knicks front office are not just standing pat.
With the opportunity to select multiple potential stars like AJ Griffin and Jalen Duren, the Knicks decided to trade their 2022 capital and acquire multiple protected picks for the future as well as shed the salary of Kemba Walker.
While fans were left confused and aggravated, New York was preparing to make a big free agency signing. That player was of course Jalen Brunson, who is coming off a season where he averaged 16.3 points per game and just under 5 assists.
While Knicks faithful could argue for days about whether Brunson deserved the four-year, $104 million contract that he got, there is an elephant in the room that is being completely ignored. RJ Barrett needs a contract extension.
RJ Barrett can sign an extension with the Knicks between now and the start of 2022-23
Over the last two seasons, Barrett has emerged as a player that the orange and blue can build around. After averaging 20 points for the first time last season along with 5.8 rebounds and 6 assists, it has been proven that an All-Star honor could be in the near future for the Duke product. He’s only getting better every season.
Additionally, the Toronto native is a rare successful Knicks draft pick, and with New York never having given a first-round pick a second contract since 1994, this would be the best time to do so.
For an organization that has been so keen on developing a young core for so long, it would be criminal to not ensure the fact that Barrett is a not a Knick for the next handful of seasons at the very least.
As someone who is humble and seemingly very well respected around the league, securing him would show that the Knicks are confident in his future in the NBA as well as his ability to draw in other talent to help New York win more basketball games.
Barrett becomes eligible for an extension today, July 1, and the team will have until the start of the regular season to negotiate and finalize a deal.
If the organization wants to make it clear that they’re following through with their investment in “the future,” this is the best way to do so.