RJ Barrett has become almost unequivocally the face of the New York Knicks and is poised to have a breakout season. Barrett signed a four-year extension and is now set to be the highest-paid player on the Knicks. After improving steadily over the last three years in the NBA, here’s why RJ Barrett will live up to his contract extension.
Barrett had a monster second half of the 2021-22 NBA season, averaging 23.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 3.5 assists since Jan. 1. It feels like ever since Barrett’s amazing game-winner against the Eastern Conference Champion Boston Celtics, he found his footing and didn’t look back.
The Knicks offered Barrett in a trade for Donovan Mitchell and reportedly gave the Jazz a deadline before they would proceed to sign him to an extension. When Utah decided to wait, New York extended RJ Barrett to a deal up to $120 million.
RJ Barrett will earn every penny of his four-year extension with Knicks
Many fans outside of the Knicks’ fan base have been screaming that it is an overpay, but that is mainly because Barrett is not a big name. Very few people are aware of how good Barrett was last year.
Barrett put up better numbers than NBA All-Star STARTER Andrew Wiggins, but nobody talks about that. Yes, I’m well aware there is more there than meets the eye. Wiggins is more efficient and on one of the most positively marketed teams in the NBA in the defending champion Golden State Warriors, but still, this shows how disrespected Barrett is by the casual fan.
This was an extension that had to be made for the good of the team, and there’s a good chance that the fact that New York did not give him a max deal will turn into a steal. Barrett will most likely be the first option for the Knicks this upcoming season, and he has a chance to take an enormous jump to become an All-Star.
Barrett is going to live up to this contract extension and very well could end up exceeding expectations. The 22-year-old has the fourth-best odds to become the NBA’s Most Improved Player, while fellow Knick Jalen Brunson is third.
All signs point to this year being Barrett’s breakout season, and I’m here for it. Here’s why RJ Barrett will live up to the contract extension.