RJ Barrett's hot night proves Knicks-Raptors trade was great move for both teams

RJ Barrett dropped 37 points on the Warriors.
New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors, RJ Barrett
New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors, RJ Barrett / John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks are 4-0 in the OG Anunoby era, and the Raptors are 3-1 in the RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley era. The three main players involved in the trade are thriving with their new teams, already proving that the deal was a win-win for both sides.

New York beat Philadelphia by 36 points at Wells Fargo Center on Friday, and Julius Randle shot 1-of-11 for eight points. That didn't matter. The Knicks' starting lineup is more efficient and flows better with Anunoby at the three. Fans initially questioned why the front office would give up Barrett and Quickley for Anunoby, but the reason why has been on display for the past week.

The Raptors are faring pretty well themselves, as are Barrett and Quickley. Toronto picked up an impressive 116-111 win over Memphis on Jan. 3, and IQ finished with 26 points. After a tough loss to the Kings on Friday, the Raptors cruised past the Warriors on Sunday, 133-118.

Barrett hung 37 points on Golden State, shooting 13-of-20 from the field and 5-of-8 from three. He's helped to elevate the Raptors offensively, and he looks more confident and at ease. Maybe that has to do with the fact he's suiting up for his hometown team.

RJ Barrett drops 37 points on Warriors as Raptors improve to 3-1 with former Knicks

Believe it or not, there were takes on X (Twitter) after the game that Toronto, not New York, won the trade. It's still too early to decipher which team won it, but at this point, it's safe to say that the Knicks and Raptors have greatly benefitted.

RJ Barrett may never live up to the standards of being a No. 3 pick in the draft, but he could find his way into the All-Star conversation in the future. As for Immanuel Quickley, he's finally a full-time starter and will get a nice payday over the summer.

Seeing Barrett and Quickley (he had 10 assists against the Warriors) flourish should make Knicks fans happy. On the other hand, their success has led to success for Toronto, an outcome New York fans should be rooting against.

Still, the trade was a necessary one. There were questions about why the Knicks jumped on Anunoby at the end of December rather than wait closer to the deadline to see who else might be available, but the forward's impact in New York has spoken for itself. The Knicks aren't done yet, either.