Knicks’ RJ Barrett Is First Player To Do This In NBA History

RJ Barrett, Knicks, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

The start to the 2023-24 regular season has been a special one for New York Knicks small forward RJ Barrett. The No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft has had some ups and downs in the first four seasons of his career, but he looks to have truly turned a corner.

The 2023 NBA Playoffs was the first sign of a breakout coming for the Duke standout. He was the Knicks’ second-best and second-most consistent player behind Jalen Brunson, who thrived in a starring role after sharing the backcourt with Luka Doncic to begin his career.

During the offseason, Barrett continued taking steps in the right direction, playing for Team Canada in the FIBA World Cup. In eight games, he averaged 16.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists in 30:33 per game, helping lead Canada to the bronze medal.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: RJ Barrett, New York Knicks Updates

That performance had a lot of people excited about what could be on the horizon for Barrett once the NBA season rolled around. Even the most ambitious of Barrett expectations have been surpassed, as he has been incredible out of the gate.

The only thing that has slowed Barrett down has been a sore knee, which cost him two games. However, in the seven games that he has played in, he has been setting records. According to Knicks Muse, Barrett has accomplished an NBA first.

In the team’s dismantling of the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday afternoon, a 129-107 blowout victory, Barrett scored 24 points with four rebounds and two assists. He shot 9-of-16 from the field and 4-of-6 from the 3-point line and 2-of-3 from the charity stripe.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: RJ Barrett, New York Knicks Updates

That continued what has been an incredible start to the season for Barrett. He is the first player to average at least 22 points per game while making at least 50 percent of his 3-point attempts. In addition to that, he has a plus/minus ratio north of +70.

Barrett has been on fire, especially in the last three games. Since coming back from the knee soreness that had him out of the lineup for two games, Barrett is shooting 53 percent from the field overall, 58 percent from the 3-point line and 92 percent from the foul line. Unsurprisingly, the Knicks are 3-0 in those contests.

Producing at that level has Barrett on the All-Star trajectory the Knicks were hoping that he would be on when they selected him. It has helped raise the ceiling of the team, as New York has an All-Star-caliber player in Brunson and an All-NBA performer in Julius Randle.

With Barrett ascending, the Knicks have three All-Star caliber players already on the roster. Whether they can obtain a superstar player in a trade or free agency, the franchise is positioned well with the core they have in place. It can be sustained long-term with Barrett only 23 years old as well.

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