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Knicks Rumors: Execs Think RJ Barrett's New Contract Should Be at Least $15M per Year

Adam WellsJune 28, 2022

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Coming off two strong seasons for the New York Knicks, RJ Barrett is eligible to sign a long-term extension for the first time in his career this offseason.

Per The Athletic's Fred Katz, a poll of 16 executives from around the NBA believe an extension for Barrett could range from anywhere between $15 million to $30 million per season.

"No one advocated for the Knicks to give him the max," Katz wrote. "Exactly half of the responses were a nice, clean four years, $100 million, making it by far the most common proposal from the polled executives."

The Knicks are positioning themselves to potentially have a big offseason. They have $18 million in cap space after making multiple trades during the 2022 NBA draft last week, including agreeing to send Kemba Walker to the Detroit Pistons in a three-team deal with the Charlotte Hornets.

It's widely believed that New York's main target in free agency is Jalen Brunson. Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer reported on his podcast (h/t HoopsHype.com) that Brunson is "more likely than not" to leave the Dallas Mavericks and sign with the Knicks.

Last season was a disappointment for the Knicks. They were coming off a promising 41-31 record and a playoff appearance in 2020-21. Julius Randle, who was named to his first All-Star team, signed a four-year contract extension in August.

Things didn't go as planned for anyone in New York during the 2021-22 campaign. The team missed the playoffs and finished 11th in the Eastern Conference with a 37-45 record.

Barrett was a bright spot in an otherwise frustrating season. The Duke alum averaged 20.0 points per game, marking the second consecutive year he's increased his scoring output since his rookie campaign.

There are still areas for Barrett to improve his game. His field-goal percentage dropped from 44.1 in 2020-21 to 40.8 in 2021-22. His usage increased to a career-high 27.6 percent last season, but his true shooting was just 51.1 percent (53.5 percent in 2020-21).

Even with some flaws to correct, Barrett is only 22 years old and has shown plenty of growth in his overall game to be excited about what he can be in the future. The Knicks have the ability to ensure his future is with them if the two sides work out an extension this offseason.

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