1. A jump in consistency
The biggest thing that has held Barrett back since he was drafted has been consistency. It’s always seemed like one week, Barrett looks like he’s on the verge of becoming a star, and another, he looks like he shouldn’t even be in the rotation.
With the Knicks’ improved spacing and the fact he’ll have a full season’s worth of chemistry with Jalen Brunson under his belt, fans hope Barrett can finally become a consistent third option for the Knicks.
Quite frankly, Barrett has to make this jump. If not, Leon Rose could be less patient with the 23-year-old and look to include him in a trade package for a star player. The Knicks could have a championship window open in the next couple of years, and the team can’t waste time hoping Barrett will become a third option.
Despite this, fans should be confident in Barrett. His 2022-23 numbers and how he’s been playing at the World Cup show he could be ready to make the jump. For example, despite the decrease in three-point percentage, Barrett saw a near 5% increase in efficiency from the paint and a 10% increase from the 3-10 foot range. He shot 43.4% from the field, compared to his rate of 40.8% in 2021-22.
It would be nice to see Barrett develop a mid-range game, but he has made few improvements in that area, and the track record for young players who struggle early on from the mid-range isn’t good. However, plenty of guys dominate by attacking the basket and hitting threes. Barrett can do one of those things at a high rate, but he has to find his shot again.
If Barrett becomes a good three-point shooter again, he will make this leap. His efficiency from most spots on the floor has consistently improved every year, aside from three-point range. This has held him back the most, and if he can find his fire again, the Knicks’ spacing and overall offensive efficiency will drastically improve.