RJ Barrett Trade Rumors: Knicks Interested in Packaging SG in Deal for Lillard, Beal

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJuly 1, 2021

New York Knicks' RJ Barrett (9) celebrates with teammates after scoring during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs Thursday, May 13, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, Pool)
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

The New York Knicks would reportedly be interested in including shooting guard RJ Barrett in a trade for a star guard such as Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard and Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal.

Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News relayed the reported interest from a league source on Wednesday.

The Knicks selected Barrett, 21, with the third overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft. The guard started all 72 games and averaged 17.6 points on 44.1 percent shooting (40.1 percent from three-point range), 5.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game last year.

Trade rumors are circulating around Lillard following a report from Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports that dropped Sunday.

"The enormous backlash from the Portland Trail Blazers' process to hire a new coach and his concerns on whether a championship contender can be built have become factors that may push the franchise player—Damian Lillard—out the door, league sources told Yahoo Sports."

The 31-year-old Lillard, a six-time All-NBA player, averaged 28.8 points and 7.5 assists per game for the Blazers last year. He just finished his ninth NBA season.

Beal has repeatedly stated that he wants to remain in Washington for the remainder of his NBA career, although trade rumors have persisted. He is under contract for the 2021-22 season but has a player option for the 2022-23 campaign.

The 28-year-old Beal, a three-time All-Star, posted 31.3 points per game for the Wizards last season.

The Knicks are looking to improve upon a 41-31 season that saw them make the playoffs for the first time since 2012-13.


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