Knicks signing RJ Barrett to four-year contract extension


It looks like RJ Barrett will be off the table at trade talks for Donovan Mitchell.

It won’t be for the max, but ESPN reported late Monday that Barrett and the Knicks were finalizing a four-year, $120 million, contract extension for a rookie, citing his agent Bill Duffy.

The rookie max extension is five years, $185 million — a number that got members of the Knicks buyers. While it’s still a hefty sum, it could have been worse with speculation that Duffy would go all in on his request. They will settle for $65 million less than the rookie max.

The Knicks could have done this on July 1, but waited. The Post reported that the Knicks were open to putting Barrett in a Mitchell deal and Utah had no qualms about hiring him.

Now the calculus will change once Barrett is signed. ESPN also reported that the Barrett trade will end talks with Mitchell for now, stating that Knicks president Leon Rose has set a deadline Monday night to complete a transaction or they would sign Barrett.

However, that seems like a lot of poker is going on as the report stated they were approaching a Mitchell trade.

“There’s no place for Donovan to go right now,” said a source in the competition. “The Knicks can still get him.”

RJ Barrett signs a four-year extension with the Knicks.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

The Post has reported that the Jazz is behind four unprotected picks and the Knicks only want to give two with three conditional picks.

Not having Barrett in the deal doesn’t seem to be a deal breaker. Sources argue that unprotected picks are more important for Utah, which is reportedly after the Lakers’ picks in 2027 and 2029 in what could be a three-team deal.

The Lakers were also able to bring in Cam Reddish in a three-team deal as they chased him on the trade deadline. Reddish is part of Agent Rich Paul’s squad – meaning LeBron James and Anthony Davis could be on board.

Barrett had a great season as his scoring average rose to 20.2 points per game. That he was willing to settle for less than the rookie max and wait for limited freedom of choice in 2023 showed how badly he didn’t want to go to Salt Lake City.

Donovan Mitchell.
Donovan Mitchell

Barrett’s impending signing means shooting guard Quentin Grimes could become more of a focal point in trade talks.

Grimes, who had a good rookie year, is a favorite of Tom Thibodeau. With a blockade from the backcourt if Mitchell is obtained, Grimes might think he’s best suited for Utah if he has an entry-level job in mind.

Last season, Barrett said his goal is to become an All-Star in the next two seasons. He said some of that will depend on whether the Knicks are a winning team. It is believed that incentives based on Knicks wins are part of the package.

On the surface, Barrett’s numbers were strong, but his 3-point shot dropped from 40.1 percent in 2020-21 to 34.2 percent last season. And he only shot 40.8 percent of the field overall.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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