The debates over New York Knicks’ RJ Barrett vs. the Heat’s Tyler Herro have been popular since the two joined the league in 2019. Both came into the NBA as “one-and-done” prospects from powerhouse colleges, they play similar positions, and both players have made incremental improvements each season.
Heading into their fourth years in the NBA, we’re starting to get a better idea of what types of players they can become.
The debate has re-entered NBA conversations due to the rampant Donovan Mitchell rumors. The Knicks and Heat seem to be the two teams with the most conviction to land the star scorer. Of course, Barrett and Herro’s names have come up as potential trade pieces for Mitchell.
While Herro may very well have to be included, the Knicks seem to be insistent that Barrett is not available. Nevertheless, it has put the Barrett vs. Herro debate back in the conversation.
NBA executives say Knicks’ RJ Barrett is more valuable than Tyler Herro
According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, decision-makers around the NBA view Barrett as a more valuable player than Herro. Fischer said:
"“Utah’s appetite for Barrett as the key ingredient in a Mitchell trade is unclear. But an unofficial B/R poll of over two dozen NBA executives at Summer League this week indicated Barrett boasts a greater trade value across the league than Miami’s best blue-chip prospect, Tyler Herro, by a wide margin, particularly because of Barrett’s improving strengths on the defensive end.”"
Over two dozen NBA executives is a solid sample size. Really, this is a testament to Barrett’s continued development in his all-around game. Both players are still just 22 years old and have plenty of room for growth. It seems like the indication from this is that Barrett has the ability to be a legit two-way player — one of the most valuable descriptors an NBA player can have.
What Herro has going for him is the team he is attached to. He’s a tremendous prospect in his own right, but you’ll often see arguments for Herro go in the direction of “he’s a winning player” and “he’s been to the finals.”
These types of arguments and “ring culture” unfortunately plagues a lot of modern-day NBA discourse when comparing different players. Just grandiose “legacy” arguments as opposed to actually debating basketball.
I don’t think Knicks fans need too much confirmation that Barrett can grow into an elite NBA player, but the question now is how elite can he truly be?
Time will tell, but for now, New York would be wise to hold onto Barrett as one of the league’s best young players. Pairing him with Donovan Mitchell could form one of the league’s most dominant wing duos for years to come.