No, this isn’t the New York Knicks of the past. No, the New York Knicks are different now, and they proved just that on Monday night. The King of New York, otherwise known as RJ Barrett, and the Knicks agreed to a four-year extension.
Barrett’s been eligible to sign a rookie extension since July 1, but on that same day, the Utah Jazz traded Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves, which signified that the Jazz could trade Donovan Mitchell next. Shortly after, it was reported that the Jazz were willing to listen to trade talks for the three-time All-Star.
For nearly two months now, conversations regarding the Knicks have been centered around a trade for Donovan Mitchell. Up to this point, there were differing reports about Barrett’s future, but there’s no question about it now.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Knicks did include Barrett in trade proposals. The Knicks’ front office gave the Jazz a deadline of Monday night to come to an agreement on a trade for Mitchell, or a Barrett extension would happen. A deal never came together, so New York announced that it was extending its 2019 No. 3 pick.
Knicks and RJ Barrett agree to a four-year, $120 million extension
The Knicks of the past likely would’ve succumbed to Danny Ainge’s demands by this point, but they were the ones to instead give the Jazz a deadline. And when nothing happened, New York took action and made a move that was in the best interest of the franchise, which is something that could rarely (if ever) be said in the past.
And better yet, the 22-year-old deserved it. Fans can now breathe a sigh of relief knowing that RJ Barrett won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
Last New Year’s Eve, Barrett texted his trainer Drew Hanlen to state that he was determined to reach his goal of averaging 20 points per game (subscription required), and he ended up doing that. After the season came to an end for the Knicks, he said his personal goal is to become an All-Star and that he’d like to lead New York back to the playoffs. There’s no reason to believe that he won’t accomplish not just one, but both feats.
Knicks fans have every right to celebrate, as does RJ Barrett. And here’s something else to celebrate… in exactly 50 days, New York will open up the 2022-23 season in Memphis. It won’t be too much longer until RJ Barrett will be back on the court, and maybe Donovan Mitchell will be with him. The door hasn’t been closed on a trade quite yet, but fans can sit back and trust the front office to make the right decision for the organization.
We’re happy that it’s official that you’re going to be sticking around, RJ.