RJ Barrett has been struggling to open the season for the New York Knicks. He hasn’t been shooting well nor has he been great on the defensive end. We all know Barrett’s strongest attribute is his offensive game, but right now he is in a bit of a slump.
In Oklahoma City, he saw a bit of light, scoring 25 points while shooting 62% from the field, including 75% from three. Is RJ back? We won’t say that just yet, but he does need to do a few things to get completely back on track.
4 things that RJ Barrett needs to do to improve after rough Knicks start
Play like a $120M player
As we all know in the offseason, the Knicks gave RJ Barrett an extension. A four-year $120 million extension to be exact! That’s a lot to give a young player and with a contract like that, I assume the front office is expecting a big return. But so far that hasn’t really been the case. Barrett isn’t playing like a $120 million player and that desperately needs to change. He must live up to the contract.
Ja Morant, Zion Williamson, Tyler Herro, and Kevin Porter Jr. were all drafted in 2019 with Barrett. And so far this season, all players are performing better than him in all categories. Barrett needs to improve across the board if he wants his name to be admired like his fellow classmates, Morant and Williamson. These two, along with Herro and Porter Jr., have proven that they can be stars, but you can’t say the same for RJ. A $120 million player should be impactful throughout the box score.
In fact, there are a few guys out there that are making less than Barrett but are producing at a high level like Jaylen Brown, CJ McCollum, and DeMar DeRozan. Is RJ on the same level as these veterans? Apparently, the Knicks’ front office thinks so and Barrett will have to prove that.