RJ Barrett isn’t getting the rookie max. But he’s expected to remain as part of the New York Knicks‘ core in the foreseeable future.
Barrett, the 2019 third overall pick, is reportedly finalizing a four-year rookie extension that could be worth up to $120 million.
ESPN first reported the news.
Barrett’s extension essentially keeps him off any potential Donovan Mitchell trade due to the poison pill provision.
Under this provision, if Barrett gets traded before his rookie extension kicks in, his current cap hold of $10.9 million will be the outgoing salary while the acquiring team will absorb around $26 million, the annual average of Barrett’s new contract.
Knicks president Leon Rose reportedly set a Monday night deadline to either extend Barrett or deal him to the Jazz as part of the Mitchell package.
With Barrett off the table, the Knicks are compelled to surrender more draft compensations if they still want to land Mitchell.
Barrett’s extension pales in comparison to what his draft classmates have received: No.1 overall pick Zion Williamson ($193 million, five years), No. 2 pick Ja Morant ($213 million, five years) and No. 4 pick Darius Garland ($193 million, five years).
Barrett became the first Knicks’ first-round selection to extend past his rookie contract since Charlie Ward in 1999.
With or without Mitchell, Barrett has big plans for next season. He is setting his sights on becoming an NBA All-Star after averaging 20 points, 5.8 rebounds and three assists last season.
Without Mitchell or any bonafide superstar, the Knicks now have committed roughly $78 million in salaries to three players in the 2023-24 season. Barrett’s $26.2 million starting salary in his next deal will be just a shade under Jalen Brunson’s $26.3 million. Julius Randle would fall to no. 3 in terms of salary with $25.6 million in the second year of his four-year extension.
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