Knicks’ RJ Barrett Joins Elite Group With 5K Points

RJ Barrett, Knicks, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

With the No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, the New York Knicks selected RJ Barrett out of Duke. Barrett was the latest in a long line of potential saviors for a franchise desperate to develop a homegrown star.

While there have certainly been some rocky times in his tenure in New York, the Knicks showed their commitment to Barrett last offseason. Instead of jettisoning him off in a trade package for Donovan Mitchell, the Knicks agreed to a four-year, $107 million extension. That made him the first first-round pick of the organization to sign an extension with the team since Charlie Ward, who was picked back in the 1994 NBA Draft.

In the 2022-23 season, Barrett looked to get lost in the shuffle at times as New York integrated new point guard Jalen Brunson into the mix. Brunson elevated his performance to All-Star levels while Julius Randle was named to an All-NBA Team for the second time in three seasons.

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Once the postseason rolled around, it was Barrett who was the second-best player on the team behind Brunson. That success in the playoffs piqued the attention of a lot of people, as he carried it over into the 2023 offseason playing for Team Canada.

That performance was a glimpse into what could be for Barrett, who looked ready to take that next step in his development. He has not disappointed in the early going of the NBA regular season, as he is emerging into the two-way star the Knicks hoped they were getting when they selected him in 2019.

In five games, Barrett is providing the team with stellar defense and efficient offensive play. He is averaging 22 points on a shooting split of .475/.440/.852 to go along with 3.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists.

Against the Los Angeles Clippers in the team’s last game, Barrett became the youngest player in Knicks history to reach the 5,000-point plateau. On top of that, he joined some elite company reaching that point total.

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According to Tommy Beer, via Basketball-Reference, there have only been four players to match or top Barrett’s career totals in points, rebounds, assists and 3-pointers at his age or younger. MVPs and perennial candidates LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Jayson Tatum and Luka Doncic are the four. All of them, except Doncic, played in more games than Barrett at this age as well.

That is something that has to have the Knicks and their fans even more excited about what the future holds. Any time you are on a list close to players of that caliber, you are doing something right. 

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About Kenneth Teape 3859 Articles
Kenneth Teape is an NBA Reporter for NBA Analysis Network. He covers all things across the league, including both news and editorial work. Make sure to follow Kenneth on Twitter at @teapester725.