Bleacher Reports disrespect of Knicks’ RJ Barrett is laughable

New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

In a recent article by Bleacher Reports’ Andy Bailey, Knicks forward RJ Barrett was wildly disrespected. Don’t get me wrong, Barrett has had a rough go throughout his first four seasons. However, this statement from Bleacher Report is a whole different level of hate, and I honestly don’t get it.

I’m confident that Barrett can prove haters like this wrong in 2023. For now, though, Knicks fans might have to deal with disrespect like this until Barrett proves otherwise.

Bleacher Report labels RJ Barrett the second-most overrated player in the NBA since 2018

That’s right, out of every player in the NBA, Barrett is somehow the second-most overrated. What makes this difficult to understand is that BR doesn’t use any actual examples of Barrett being overrated. All that’s said about this is that “he’s been held up as a franchise cornerstone (or at least a potential one).”

Obviously, a third overall pick will have expectations to be a franchise cornerstone. Just because they don’t reach this does not mean they are overrated. If Bailey had given more examples of Barrett being overrated, perhaps we’d understand, but he didn’t. On the other hand, Bailey does make some pretty good points on Barrett’s struggles thus far.

"“During his four seasons, only 15 players have logged more total minutes than Barrett… Without free throws, Barrett has scored 3,958 points on 4,157 shot attempts, or 503.4 fewer than a league-average shooter would have. The only player further below zero during his career is Russell Westbrook… regarding that plus-minus impact, the Knicks are minus-1.9 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor over his four seasons, compared to plus-3.9 without him.”"

While we certainly understand that Barrett has struggled thus far, to call him the second-most overrated player in the NBA just seems crazy.

For example, Jaylen Brown just had a disappointing playoff run and was rewarded with a supermax contract. How about Karl-Anthony Towns, who has consistently fallen apart in the playoffs and is also set to make $50+ million?

I’d understand if this were a list of top draft picks who have disappointed. However, calling Barrett the second-most overrated player in the entire league seems ridiculous. Hopefully, we see Barrett finally break out in 2023 and prove narratives such as this wrong.