After what’s been a particularly long offseason for New York Knicks fans, 2022 Media Day has finally come. A lot happened with the Knicks this summer, including signing point guard Jalen Brunson and missing out on All-Star Donovan Mitchell. In the end, New York didn’t have to part ways with players from its young core, including RJ Barrett.
Barrett signed a four-year, $120 million extension with the Knicks a few weeks ago. His name was wrapped up in Mitchell trade rumors, but ultimately, the front office decided to ink the 22-year-old to a new deal.
That was a move that the fan base was waiting on, but more importantly, it was a smart move for the front office to make. Barrett’s progressed in his first three years in the league, and in 2021-22, he averaged 20 points per game for the first time in his career. Fans can expect big things from the 2019 No. 3 pick in 2022-23, including perhaps his first All-Star bid.
Along with having a personal goal of being an All-Star, Barrett has high expectations for New York.
RJ Barrett thinks Knicks are going to “shock the world” in 2022-23 season
Because RJ Barrett was drafted by the Knicks, he knows a thing or two about being overlooked. Since he was extended, many people outside of the organization and fan base have questioned Barrett’s abilities. It’s part of what comes with playing in New York, and as RJ’s said himself, the pressure isn’t something that bothers him.
To put it simply, it’s going to be a fight for the Knicks to earn a spot in the play-in tournament. The Eastern Conference (and the Atlantic Division) is loaded from top to bottom. If New York earns a playoff berth and gets to bypass the play-in altogether, it’ll be a (good) surprise.
That’s not to say that the Knicks aren’t talented. When you consider that for the first time in two decades, New York has a true point guard in Brunson, Barrett is poised to have a breakout season, and that various young players could see an increase in minutes, it’s easy to believe that the Knicks will have a better season than 2021-22.
RJ went as far as to say that New York is going to “shock the world” this season, and that’s something that every fan should be excited about. It doesn’t matter what the Knicks do, they’re going to be disregarded, but if what Barrett said ends up being true, the rest of the NBA world won’t have a choice but to acknowledge what’s brewing in New York.