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Knicks Trade Rumors: NY Has 'No Interest' in Including RJ Barrett in Any Deal

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 13, 2022

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The New York Knicks reportedly don't plan to include RJ Barrett in "any deal" amid recent rumors linking the franchise to a potential blockbuster trade for Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell.

SNY's Ian Begley reported Wednesday the Knicks have "no interest" in moving Barrett, and the team's front office has more generally been "wary" of the price to bring in a high-profile player via trade this summer.

Barrett hasn't quite reached the All-Star production New York expected when it selected him with the third overall pick in the 2019 draft, but he's made some progress across three NBA seasons.

The 22-year-old Duke product is coming off a 2021-22 campaign where he averaged 20 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.0 threes across 70 appearances. He shot just 40.8 percent from the field, including 34.2 percent from beyond the arc, though.

His lack of offensive efficiency combined with an up-and-down year defensive led him to rank 173rd out of 250 qualified players in FiveThirtyEight's WAR metric.

The Knicks are clearly continuing to bet on his potential as his rookie contract heads toward its conclusion. The team can give him a qualifying offer before next summer to make him a restricted free agent if an agreement on an extension isn't reached.

In April, the 6'6'' forward confirmed he wanted to remain in New York for the long haul.

"I've said it since day one that I wanted to come here. I didn't work out for any other team [before the draft]," Barrett told reporters. "This is where I wanna be. I love playing for the Knicks. I love playing in the Garden. I love how we got to the playoffs last year and looking to do that again. I love everything about being a Knick. Yeah, 100 percent the place I wanna be."

The Knicks could feel some pressure to make a splash this summer coming off a disappointing campaign, which saw them post a 37-45 record to miss the playoffs one year after ending a seven-year postseason drought.

Mitchell, a three-time All-Star, would represent a new franchise cornerstone, but New York is concerned that type of deal wouldn't leave "enough left on the roster to field a contending team."

So, barring a sudden change of direction, it appears the Knicks are content staying on their current path and that includes Barrett in a key role.

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