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Rising Star RJ Barrett: A Closer Look at the Knicks’ Future Franchise Player

RJ Barrett stats

In this Knicks profile, we break down RJ Barrett stats, bio, contract and what you need to know about him heading into next season.

RJ Barrett Bio

RJ Barrett Stats Summary


Stats by Basketball Reference

2022-23 Stats Projections


Stats by Basketball Reference

RJ Barrett Contract Details

RJ Barrett signed a 4 year / $35.5 million contract with the New York Knicks.

  • $35.5 million guaranteed
  • Annual average salary of $8,899,069 million
    • Base salary of $17,045,454 per year
    • Carrying cap hit of $10,900,635 per year
    • Dead cap value of $10,900,635
    • Signed as a Rookie

Barrett recently signed a contract extension with the New York Knicks. He signed this contract using the Rookie extension/Bird rights clause.

Upcoming Rookie Contract Extension

RJ Barrett signed a 4 year / $107 million rookie extension with the New York Knicks. This is set to kick in at the beginning of the 2023-24 season.

  • $107 million guaranteed
  • Annual average salary of $26,750,000 million
    • Will become a Restricted Free Agent in 2027
    • Signed as a Rookie/Bird Rights

The contract comes with incentives that can raise the value of the contract to $120 million.

  • 2023-24: LTBE: $0; ULTBE: $2,901,790
  • 2024-25: LTBE: $0; ULTBE: $3,133,929
  • 2025-26: LTBE: $0; ULTBE: $3,366,072
  • 2026-27: LTBE: $0; ULTBE: $3,598,209

Trade Restriction

This player can be traded but has a Poison Pill restriction until Jul 01, 2023.

Contract Notes

  • 2021-22 Club Option (exercised)
  • 2022-23 Club Option (exercised, 10/18/21)

Contract sources via Spotrac.

What to know about RJ Barrett

Barrett signs Rookie Extension with New York for 4 years

RJ Barrett recently signed a 4 year rookie extension with the Knicks worth $107 million, with incentives that can raise the value of this contract to $120 million. With this deal, he solidifies himself as the Knicks franchise player that the team will build around over the next few years.

It is a big deal for the franchise, as Barrett becomes the first 1st round pick to resign with the team since 1994, following 18 first round picks since that time, according to Fadeaway World. Whilst he was close to being included in the trade for Donovan Mitchell, he remains on the team and it’s a big step forward for the franchise.

What is Barrett’s best position?

Barrett played as the Shooting Guard for the Knicks in his first two seasons with the team. Due to his size, as he continues to develop, he is able to also play the Small Forward position. With the depth of this New York team, his position will likely move primarily to the Small Forward positon.

This may become a challenge for Barrett defensively as he needs to battle against bigger defenders, but he is a strong and willing defender, so we have no doubt he will be up for the challenge. Now with Jalen Brunson assisting on the offensive side, he should get better looks while expending less energy.

Rj Barrett on the defensive end of the floor

Barrett has a defensive rating of 112.2 in his career, per statsmuse. This has been fairly consistent, varying from 113 to 110. In 2021, this was right around the league average.

Defensive rating simply shows how many points a player allows per 100 possessions. It counts the points that are scored against Barrett when he is the primary defender.

This rating is not bad for RJ. Given he plays heavy minutes and will typically defend the opposing teams best shooting guard or small forward, it shows he is capable and willing defensively.

RJ has room to improve in this department, he isn’t the most efficient rim defender and he fails to disrupt passing lanes. He ranks on the lower end for Rim Frequency and Block Percentage, according to craftedNBA. The hope is, with a defensive minded coach in Tom Thibodeau and the willingness to improve, he becomes a more efficient defender.

Barrett on offense

It is this end of the floor that he has shown the most promise to date. Averaging 20 ppg, 5.8 rebs and 3.0 asts last season, his numbers are up there with some of the biggest names in the NBA.

In an article with the Athletic, the list of second-year players aged 21 and younger who have averaged Barrett’s numbers (25-plus minutes, 16-plus points, five-plus rebounds and at least 35-percent shooting on 3s) since 2000-01 includes: LeBron JamesKevin Durant and Karl-Anthony Towns.

He has taken a hit because of his shooting percentage in recent times. In the 2021-22 season, his field goal percentage dropped from 44.1% to 40.8%. The drop is not ideal, although it is no reason to sound the alarm bells. The Knicks offense last season had extreme difficulties. It was a lot of isolation basketball played through Julius Randle, an offense that forced difficult, low percentage shots for everyone on the team. Again, the acquisition of Brunson should help RJ find better shots and bring his field goal percentage back to where it was the previous season.

Overall, he has the size and talent to be an all-star in the NBA. He continues to improve each year and is willing to put in the work to get better. With some improvement in his shot selection and overall shot, he should have a big year in 2022-23.

Related: The Latest on Every Knicks Rumor this Offseason

Related: Your comprehensive guide to understanding the NBA draft and lottery

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