Knicks’ RJ Barrett 1 of 2 Players To Do This In 2023-24 Season

RJ Barrett, Knicks, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

New York Knicks small forward RJ Barrett has been through the gauntlet since the team selected him No. 3 overall in the 2019 NBA Draft. When you are selected that high, fans are expecting you to be a savior for the franchise. Being drafted by the Knicks adds even more pressure onto that.

In his first four seasons in the NBA, Barrett certainly had some highs to be excited about. But, there were also some lows as inconsistency plagued him as it would any young player in the NBA. Despite some harsh assessments, he didn’t let it deter him as he worked tirelessly every offseason to improve his game.

The first sign of him truly turning a corner was in the 2023 NBA Postseason. Barrett was easily the Knicks’ second most consistent player behind Jalen Brunson. That positive momentum was carried into the offseason, where Barrett shined while playing internationally for Team Canada.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: RJ Barrett, Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks Updates

Would he be able to carry all of that positive momentum into the 2023-24 season for the Knicks? The answer, in the early going, is a resounding yes. Barrett has been excellent as his shooting stroke has looked smooth and he has had a positive impact defensively as well.

This is the kind of two-way performance the Knicks and their fans were hoping for when Barrett’s name was called after Zion Williamson and Ja Morant. Through six games, he finds himself in some elite company with his production.

On the season, Barrett is averaging 22.3 points on an efficient 47.4 overall shooting percentage. He is knocking down 47.1 percent of his 3-point attempts and 86.7 percent of his foul shots with healthy volume on both.

Right now, the only other player in the NBA averaging at least 22 points and making 45+ percent from the field and 3-point range is Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry. Tommy Beer took things one step further.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: RJ Barrett, Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks Updates

Both players are shooting above 47 percent from 3-point range and 85 percent from the charity stripe attempting at least five of each per game. Those are high-volume numbers as the work Barrett put in to improve his shooting stroke is paying off.

Whenever you are in the same stratosphere as Curry, regarded by many as the best shooter in NBA history, you are doing something right. The Knicks could not have asked for a better start from Barrett, who has provided steady production while the team’s other stars, Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle, work through some early shooting woes.

If this kind of production is the new norm for Barrett, the Knicks are going to be an even more difficult team to beat. His ascension will help them compete with the upper-echelon teams in the NBA and raise their ceiling without having to gut the team in a trade for an established superstar.

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About Kenneth Teape 3858 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.