Knicks rout Warriors on Barrett’s career night

RJ Barrett grew up watching Andrew Wiggins in Canada.

“He’s a legend back home,” Barrett said.

In their first NBA matchup, Barrett showed his time has come as he upstaged Wiggins in leading the New York Knicks to a 119-104 rousing win on the road.

Barrett set the tone for the rout with 14 of his career-high 28 points in the opening quarter.

Wiggins, a former No.1 pick, finished with 17 points and a team-worst plus/minus -18.

But more than Barrett’s scoring explosion, the Knicks once again flaunted their league’s top defense holding the Warriors to just 38 percent from the field and limiting them to 9-of-38 from three.

It was a wire-to-wire win for the Knicks, who drew six players in double figures in a well-balanced attack.

Barrett shot 10-of-17 and 6-of-8 free throws in another impressive shooting night. He’s now averaging 21.8 points on 51/39/87 shooting splits in his last five games.

Mitchell Robinson had a season-high 18 points after a scoreless first half with eight rebounds and two shot blocks. Julius Randle flirted with a triple-double (16 points, 17 rebounds, 9 assists), while Elfrid Payton was outstanding on both ends of the floor.

Payton held Curry scoreless for the first eight minutes of the game that threw the Warriors’ offense in disarray.

It didn’t help that Draymond Green got tossed in the second quarter after picking up his second technical foul.

Curry was still able to get 30 points but was held to just two in the pivotal third quarter where the Knicks broke the game wide open.

The Warriors got within six at the break and were still within striking distance halfway through the third quarter. Then the trio of Barrett, Robinson, and Randle turned a Knicks’ 68-63 lead into a dozen lead, 79-67.

The rookies took over from there.

Immanuel Quickley fed Obi Toppin for the first of his two baseline slams. Then Quickley quickly followed it up with a pullup jumper that pushed the Knicks’ lead to 16 in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter.

The Knicks never looked back.

With their third straight win, the Knicks climbed to .500 once more. It took them 32 games to reach eight wins last season.

But this season feels and looks different. Thanks to Tom Thibodeau, who is squeezing the most out of this overachieving roster.

The Knicks started the game assisting nine of their first 10 shots. They finished with 24 on 38 field goals made.

The Knicks hope to extend their three-game win streak when they continue their West Coast trip in Sacramento on Friday night.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Knicks Draft Watch: What is the value of the top two picks?

New York Knicks, LaMelo Ball

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

LaMelo Ball has added more fuel to the fire when he said on ESPN’s Jalen & Jacoby Show Wednesday that he has spoken to only two teams thus far: the New York Knicks and Golden State Warriors.

The 6-foot-7 point guard has been on top of the Knicks’ Draft Board since May according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. Meanwhile, Ian Begley of SNY recently reported that some NBA teams believe that the Knicks have been trying to move up in the Draft.

If the Knicks have their eyes on Ball, what could move the needle for them to get to the top of the Draft?

 

According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, executives around the NBA believe the Minnesota Timberwolves will shop the top overall pick for a win-now player. The Warriors are also in the same boat, hoping that they could snag a key piece to augment the loss of Kevin Durant and Andre Igoudala.

But ESPN’s Front Office Insider Bobby Marks believes the value of the Wolves and Warriors’ top two selections have decreased relatively owing to the unpredictability of this Draft class.

“I don’t believe you can get an All-Star back. It’s a lot different compared to last year,” Marks told Empire Sports Media.

Last year, Zion Williamson was the consensus top pick. This year, it’s unclear.

Ball, swingman Anthony Edwards, and big man James Wiseman have routinely figured out on top of several Mock Drafts and Draft Boards.

Trading draft picks have been tricky. Because there’s an unknown variable involved.

Revisiting past trades involving top picks might give us a better appraisal of the Timberwolves and Warriors’ picks.

The last time the No. 1 pick was traded happened in 2017 with the Philadelphia 76ers moving up from No. 3 to select Markelle Fultz. In return, the Celtics received the No. 3 pick (Jayson Tatum) and a future first-round pick which turned out to be Romeo Langford, last year’s No. 14 selection.

The following year, another Draft Day trade involving a top-three pick had a major impact. The Atlanta Hawks traded down from No. 3 to No. 5 to get an additional draft pick and selected sharp-shooter Trae Young.

The Mavericks, on the other hand, went on to pick Luka Doncic, who finished in the top five of the MVP balloting this season. The additional draft pick which the Hawks got in the trade turned out to be Cam Reddish, last year’s No. 10 selection.

Those cases, however, don’t apply to the Knicks, who are at the bottom half of the lottery. For the Knicks to move up into the top two, they will have to give more compensations than what the 76ers and the Mavericks have sent out.

The Knicks have the Draft capital, having six first-round picks starting next year until 2023 to choose from to add to their current No. 8 pick in a trade package. But they don’t have the win-now player which both the Timberwolves and the Warriors seek in a trade.

The last time an All-Star was involved in a trade for a No. 1 pick occurred in 2014 when the Cleveland Cavaliers sent No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love in a larger three-team trade with the Philadelphia 76ers. 

In addition to Wiggins, Minnesota also received Anthony Bennett, Thaddeus Young, and a trade exception while the 76ers got Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Alexey Shved, and a future first-rounder which turned out to be Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (24th pick in 2016 NBA Draft).

As complicated as it is to pull off a multiple-team trade, it’s the more plausible way for the Knicks to convince ironically the Timberwolves or the Warriors to part way with their picks.