RJ Barrett Could Break Insane Streak For Knicks First Round Picks

Cam Reddish, New York Knicks, NBA Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The New York Knicks have had a few good young players in recent history. But, they are usually traded before they can fully develop and round out their games. They are hopeful that RJ Barrett will snap that streak.

Barrett is making more strides in his third season in the league. While his efficiency has waned a little bit this season from last season, he is becoming more of a focal point of the team’s attack offensively and more often than not is the team’s go-to defender as well.

Many opposing players, even some stars such as Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard, have spoken highly about the kind of player the Knicks have in Barrett. He has All-Star potential and the two-way skill set to turn into a star.

While he still has some developing to do to reach his ceiling, he has shown he is willing to put in the work to improve his game. The question is, will that next step be taken while wearing a New York Knicks jersey?

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New York has a streak going that is unheard of in the NBA. The list first-round pick that they signed to an extension following their rookie deal was Charlie Ward. Ward, a Heisman Trophy winner while also playing basketball at Florida State, was selected No. 26 overall in the 1994 NBA Draft.

But, if the Knicks go star chasing this offseason, Barrett will assuredly be a target for the other team. During an appearance on the HoopsHype Podcast, Stefan Bondy made mention of the streak and potential trade talks Barrett could be involved in.

“The Knicks have not re-signed a player that they drafted to a second contract coming off their rookie deal since Charlie Ward. That’s how long it has been. He’s up for an extension after the season coming off his rookie deal. I think the Knicks view him as a future cornerstone piece. You’re correct in saying he’s their most valuable trade piece. If they are going to go after Donovan Mitchell or whoever, he would be their most enticing piece.”

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A lot of people thought that Kristaps Porzingis would snap this streak for the New York Knicks, but he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks before his rookie contract was over. RJ Barrett should snap that streak, as the front office would be making a mistake trading him away this summer.

The Duke product should be viewed as a cornerstone of the team, someone they should be building the roster around, not trading away. He has shown in recent weeks that he can be the go-to guy for the team and at 21-years old, is only scratching the surface of his potential.

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