Proof the New York Knicks are all in on RJ Barrett at No. 3

The New York Knicks are considering drafting RJ Barrett with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

With RJ Barrett playing second-fiddle to Zion Williamson at Duke, it allowed him to slip behind in the draft pick race, as he’s now the expected 3rd overall selection to the New York Knicks.

The reality is, Barrett would’ve been the top pick if Zion didn’t take the college scene by storm with his abnormal athleticism and ability. The tenacious scorer and defender, Barrett, has the skill-set to be the top pick with ease, in fact, most consider him a foundational player — an option that you build upon and design your offense after.

The New York Knicks need to keep their priorities straight:

With the slew of talent added by the Knicks in recent years, it’s important they focus on their youth agenda moving forward. Adding a max-contract player is important and necessary, but building around players like Barrett, Kevin Knox, and Mitchell Robinson should be prioritized.

However, the reason and proof behind the Knicks being all in on Barrett is written on the wall. General manager Scott Perry didn’t even blink an eye towards the Pelicans in a potential Anthony Davis trade.

They offered the Pelicans a lackluster deal that would’ve seen them acquire Davis on a steal while also giving up the 3rd overall pick. In other terms, it was an offering that was never going to happen, but if it did, it would’ve been a huge surprise, and win.

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Recently, the Atlanta Hawks offered the 8th and 10th overall picks to trade up to No. 3, an offer the Knicks laughed at all the way to their draft board. The proof is in the pudding, folks. The Duke star is nearly a lock for the Knicks, as he should be. Averaging 22.6 points-per-game and 4.3 assists-per-game, his attributes will help develop a Knicks team that has struggled to earn wins in recent years.

New York Knicks should focus on building around RJ Barrett first and foremost

New York Knicks, Duke, RJ Barrett

One of the most polarizing scorers in college basketball, Duke star RJ Barrett will, in all likeliness, be bringing his talents to the New York Knicks next season.

Despite the rumors indicating the Knicks will pursue several high-profile free agents with plenty of cap space, their youth agenda should be prioritized, especially when it comes to Barrett. Building around him and his lethal style of play will, probability wise, end up being the route they take.

Adding a superstar like Kevin Durant is very possible, and more than welcomed, but the reality is, there are other teams more suited to win now than continue on towards a full-rebuild.

The focus needs to be on Barrett and what he brings to New York. At the forefront is his elite confidence – Kobe Bryant-style mentality that believes he’s better than the player in front of him. He is looking to embarrass them at every turn.

The New York Knicks are headed in the right direction if they pick RJ Barrett:

“This kid is like a real 1988 New Yorker. He’s not some 2016 Instagram model. He’s trying to kill you,” Barrett’s youth coach Dwayne Washington stated (The Knicks Blog). “He is what people say New Yorkers are supposed to be — aggressive, determined, confident and always pushing the envelope. That’s how you get to greatness.”

Quietly building a case for himself behind Zion Williamson, Barrett earned impressive statistics – 22.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. Without Zion taking the spotlight, RJ would’ve likely been the 1st overall pick in the draft.

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A superstar will only benefit Barrett in New York:

The fact of the matter is, Barrett will need a star player to help him develop at his own pace. He won’t be able to come to the vicious media-driven spektical of New York and shine with ease, there will be a learning curve he needs to overcome. However, he has tangible and intangibles skills to eventually develop into the top player for the Knicks, but a veteran mentor that can carry the load early on is necessary.

So, while the Knicks need to be focused on Barrett and building around him, it’s essential they lure a max-contract player to help him in his growth and ultimate succession of the throne.

New York Knicks could look at these 3 second-tier free agents

New York Knicks interested in free agent, Khris Middleton.

The New York Knicks survived the Anthony Davis trade unscathed, meaning they didn’t part with their young talent in favor of bringing in a superstar with one-year left on his contract. Reports indicated the Knicks were willing to give up the #3 overall pick, a future first-rounder and a young player of the Pelicans’ choice.

Clearly, they favored the Los Angeles Lakers’ deal far more, considering they added the 4th overall pick and a slew of young talent. The fact of the matter is, the Knicks saved themselves some trouble by not giving away the farm, but it also rules another big-time player out.

With Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson both suffering significant injuries, the Knicks have to make a difficult decision – do they pursue injured talent in hopes of them making an impact upon their return, or do they save their money for another day and continue building around their youth.

There’s a reason to believe the Knicks will certainly go after Durant despite his torn Achilles, but it’s only fair we look into the second-tier market and who fits the bill for David Fizdale.

1.) PG – D’Angelo Russell

Russell might not fit the “second-tier” model, but with Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker headlining the point guard market, the Brooklyn star lands in the 3rd spot in terms of quality.

The Knicks would be smart to pursue D’Angelo if they cannot convince Irving to bring his talents to the Mecca. Russell averaged 21.1 points-per-game in his first All-Star caliber season. He’s a young talent that the Knicks can build around and utilize for the extended future. They will have plenty of money to sign another max-contract player if need be.

2.) F – Khris Middleton

The Knicks wouldn’t need to unload a max-contract for Middleton, who acted as swingman for the Bucks last season. Despite not being considered a superstar, he’s about as close as it gets. Averaging 18.3 points-per-game last season, Middleton is a proven scorer that can add offensive efficiency to the Knicks.

If the Knicks do manage to lure Durant to the big apple and miss out on a point guard, Khris could be a perfect compliment.

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3.) G – JJ Redick

At 34-years-old, Redick is surely on the back-end of his career, but there’s plenty of value to be extracted from the elite shooter. Having a trustworthy shooter that’s a .413 career three-point shooter, only benefits the offense and clutchness of the team.

Redick averaged 18.1 points-per-game in 2018 with the 76ers, proving he’s still capable. The last two seasons have seen his assist numbers increase as well, meaning he’s moving the ball around better as well. He signed a one-year, $12.25 million contract last season, which is far less than a max deal. Bringing him in on a one/two-year deal for $11-12 million per year would be good for the Knicks and the development of their youth.

 

New York Knicks: What happens if Kyrie Irving takes his talents to Brooklyn?

What should the New York Knicks do if they lose out on Celtics star, Kyrie Irving?

There’s a simple reality to Kyrie Irving potentially taking his talents to the Brooklyn Nets and dragging Kevin Durant along with him. The New York Knicks will have to settle for the next best thing, and that might very well be D’Angelo Russell.

The star Nets points guard had an All-Star season in 2018, averaging 21.1 points-per-game. However, he’s still the second, or even third point guard choice for the Knicks as Kemba Walker remains a possibility.

Irving has expressed his desire to join the Nets – an indicator being his signing with Roc Nation, the CEO being the brother of the Nets’ general manager.  Irving has already sat down with Durant and spoken about playing together in the Big Apple. At this point, signs are pointing towards the Nets, but ruling out the Knicks so early in the free agent window would be ignorant.

According to Ric Bucher of Fox Sports:

“I’m told Kevin Durant has moved all his stuff to New York and will spend the summer there,” Bucher said on The Herd. “He and Kyrie have met and have continued to discuss playing together… Every indication says KD is making plans to be elsewhere.”

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It’s fair to consider Russell, who’s comfortable in New York, a potential option for the Knicks given the injury to Durant and lack of confidence in Irving coming to The Garden. The point guard market will certainly dry up fast, and the draft doesn’t represent many good options aside from Ja Morant, who will likely take his talents to Memphis as they hold the No. 2 pick.

After the premium options, the Knicks would be left to choose from Ricky RubioDarren CollisonPatrick Beverley, and Rajon Rondo.

With Russell at 27-years-old, it’s fair to say offering him a max contract would be a good idea. With only one inspiring season under his belt, it would be a risk, but he’s shown that he can play at an extremely high level, and providing him with the weapons to utilize offensively should help him develop even further. It will be interesting to see where the Knicks allocate more resources this offseason.

 

 

 

New York Knicks are running out of superstar options in free agency

Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics, Kyrie Irving

With the 2018 NBA season coming to a close on the backs of the Toronto Raptors and Kawhi Leanard, the New York Knicks will now begin meddling in free agency.

With Kevin Durant tearing his Achilles and expected to miss all of 2019, the premium players are dropping like flies. Add in Klay Thompson’s knee injury, Kyrie Irving’s desire to join the Brooklyn Nets, and Kemba Walker being loyal to the Hornets stating he would take less than a max deal, and the Knicks are in big trouble.

It’s possible they still pursue Durant despite his injury, but it would require them to unload a massive amount of money for essentially no value. However, his return in 2020 would put the organization in a good position to win immediately, especially if they collect another top pick and provide RJ Barrett with a year’s worth of experience.

The New York Knicks could be forced into making a difficult decision:

The scenario where the Knicks save some of their money and stick to their youth guns isn’t a bad one, in fact, it could be the only one after the smoke clears. It’s expected that general manager Scott Perry will pursue Kawhi Leonard in free agency — he believes a meeting is more than possible.

The likeliness of convincing a player like Leonard to come to the bright lights of New York is, well…unlikely. It’s not impossible, though.

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Sticking with Durant and allowing him to fully heal for a year while the Knicks continue to develop their youth isn’t a bad idea. They should stay far away from a potential Anthony Davis trade and begin to think about how they can utilize their ample cap-space to build a competent team capable of winning in the NBA.

It’s getting to a point where the organization could be deemed stagnant if they don’t make any moves this offseason.

New York Knicks: Kevin Durant moves belongings and self to the Big Apple

Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets

After the Golden State Warriors were defeated at the hands of the Toronto Raptors, the free agency rumors began to ramp up even more. The wheelhouse of rumors and trade-bait has been circulating the past few weeks, and Kevin Durant has been at the forefront. The New York Knicks have been mentioned in relation to Durant, but the Warriors seem to be interested in bringing back the superstar as well.

Durant, however, didn’t hesitate to move all of his belongings to New York and prepare to spend his summer rehabbing in the Big Apple. In fact, he has already sat down with Kyrie Irving for dinner to discuss playing together next season, according to Fox Sports.

NBA Insider Ric Bucher: “I’m told Kevin Durant is out of the hospital, moved into a hotel for the time being in the New York area and him and Kyrie have met and have continued to discuss playing together next season. KD has moved all his stuff and will spend his summer in New York… Every indication says KD is making plans to be elsewhere because obviously Kyrie will not be joining the Warriors any time soon.”

Irving has been heavily linked to the Brooklyn Nets as of late, which doesn’t bode well for the Knicks in their pursuit of Durant’s signature. The Knicks have been a favored location for the Warriors star for several weeks, and his recent buying of a house attests to that.

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The Warriors will apparently still try to resign Durant this offseason, along with Klay Thompson, both of which suffered significant injuries that will sideline them for an extended period of time. On the bright side, coming to New York allows the Knicks to provide Durant with star treatment, and there’s no better place to be a celebrity than in the city that never sleeps.

The biggest stage in Madison Square Garden calls Durant’s name — it all comes down to the executives and whether they can convince him to join the youthful ranks of the Knicks.

Why the New York Knicks shouldn’t even think twice about pursuing Kevin Durant

New York Knicks, Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors

After seeing Kevin Durant’s calf vibrate with what looked like a torn Achilles tendon, the New York Knicks fan base once again fell into despair. The emotions of a potential super-star coming to the Big Apple have been overwhelming as of late, but the injury to Durant shouldn’t stop us from seeing those feelings to reality.

With $73 million in cap space, enough to bring in two max-contract players, the Knicks are in a good position heading into the offseason. There are plenty of quality players to choose from, despite Durant being the most sought after of the bunch.

The pursuance of him will continue, as an Achilles tear isn’t as significant as it once was. It generally requires a 30-minute surgery that demands 4-6 months of recovery time. While the tendon may never return to full strength, Durant on a hobbled leg is still better than a majority of players.

If only the Golden State Warriors shut him down in hopes of winning a game down 3-1 in the series without him. Durant likely was the reason they won their most recent game, crawling back to 3-2. Unfortunately, they will have to push forward without him.

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What do the New York Knicks do now?

As for the Knicks, players like Kemba Walker, Kyrie Irving, Anthony Davis, Klay Thompson, and Kawhi Leonard all present opportunity. Personally, I’m against the idea of trading for Davis, as it would require the Knicks to give up the 3rd overall pick in the 2019 draft and multiple young talents.

AD simply isn’t worth the price-tag, especially since they would have little depth left on the team and would need to utilize the rest of their money to build around Davis. The reality of a potential deal is this – the Knicks have to decide whether they want to establish around Davis or stay on the current path they’re on and instill confidence in their youth.

The vote should be simple — Mitchell Robinson, Kevin Knox, RJ Barrett potentially, Allonzo Trier, Damyeon Dotson…all of these players represent the future of Knicks basketball.

 

Will New York Knicks go all-in on Anthony Davis after Kevin Durant injury?

Should the New York Knicks prioritize Anthony Davis after Kevin Durant injury?

Once again, the hearts and minds of New York Knicks fans have been shattered. The vibration that was sent through Warriors star Kevin Durant’s calf spelled trouble for the free agency period, despite teams being unphased by the assumed significance of the injury.

Many general managers have not shied away from stating they will still offer Durant a max-contract even after an expected torn Achilles tendon. However, the Knicks, who will have room for two max-deals, might be more inclined to shift their efforts towards Anthony Davis, who named them as one of his preferred destinations.

Davis, who’s coming off a stellar year averaging 25.9 points-per-game, would cost a lot more than a max-contract if the Knicks are looking to bite. They would have to give up the 3rd overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, in addition to multiple young talents looking to take the next step on the starting team.

The Pelicans star is ‘that’ good, though, which makes a deal possible. Now, I wouldn’t rule out the Knicks staying put with their focus on Durant, who will lose a bit of leverage after the injury.

An Achilles tear typically requires between 4-6 months of recovery, and even then the muscle can never return to full strength. That reality poses a risk in of itself, but it’s one the starving franchise might need to take, especially if they lose out on Kyrie Irving and other top free agents.

Durant was rumored to be on his way to New York after purchasing a home and stating his desire. The reality is that the injury will play a significant part, but giving up the house for Davis is still the lesser of the two options, considering the boat-load of money the Knicks have to spend anyway.

The question we have to ask ourselves is – did the New York Knicks dodge a bullet?

Durant coming to New York would have been phenomenal, but at 30-years old and now facing a major injury, his potential is lessened exponentially. Maybe, the Knicks should stick with their youth talent and build for the long haul and not the short term.

Continue to develop the talent on the roster and add pieces every year to assist in their growth, instead of overpaying in an attempt to bring expedited success.

New York Knicks could swipe D’Angelo Russell from Brooklyn Nets

Brooklyn Nets, D'Angelo Russell

With the Brooklyn Nets suddenly entering the conversation for star point guard Kyrie Irving and his elusive skill-set, the New York Knicks could contend for D’Angelo Russell in free agency.

Russell, who finally came into himself in his fourth season as a professional, proved the LA Lakers wrong with an All-Star performance in 2018. The Nets enjoyed his progression, as he averaged 21.1 points-per-game (basketball-reference), leading an unexpected team to the playoffs, despite falling to the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round.

At this point in time, it seems as if the Nets have surpassed the Knicks in terms of potential and success. However, the Knicks, ran by Scott Perry, could be a suitable destination for the Nets point guard if they do, in fact, go after Irving.

Russell has been rumored to stay with the Nets as of late, as his image and pride has forced him to make a difficult decision. The Knicks might be the only team that could pry him away, allowing him to stay in New York and compete on the biggest stage.

With $73 million in cap space, the Knicks will have plenty of cash to splash on the dynamic point guard, and if Kevin Durant is set on bringing his talents to the Mecca, it might convince D’Angelo to take his talents up the street.

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Other option still remains on the table for the New York Knicks:

If the Knicks strike out on Irving, Kemba Walker, and Russell, they could still elect to trade the farm in favor of Anthony Davis and still bring in Durant. They would take up just about all of their available cap space and they would lose a majority of their youth talent. However, the starting team would be instant playoff caliber.

In addition, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, DeMarcus Cousins, Jimmy Butler, and more, will all be on the open market. The Knicks simply couldn’t have picked a better time to open up the flood gates with cap space.

 

New York Knicks: RJ Barrett “this is the place I want to be”

The New York Knicks are considering drafting RJ Barrett with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

The New York Knicks are expected to be locked in on Duke star RJ Barrett with the 3rd overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft. After missing out on Zion Williamson, one of the most polarizing players entering the league, the next best bet was Barret, who will be an instant play-maker.

Barrett scheduled only one workout – the New York Knicks, stating after:

“This is the pace I want to be.”

The bright lights, The Garden, what’s not to like about the vicious media-driven hell-hole of New York City? Nothing has ever gone wrong here before, has it? I can’t imagine Barrett following in JR Smith’s footsteps and going clubbing after every game, but the Big Apple does strange things to people and players alike.

However, adding a talent like RJ to the roster would be impactful. His abilities on the court, offensively and defensively, present immense value for a team that lacks true star talent.

In fact, most think, on any other team, Barrett would have been so good he could’ve been the No. 1 pick. He likely would have been given Zion didn’t take over college basketball on a national stage.

He averaged 22.6 points-per-game on a team that centered their offense around Williamson.

At this point, it’s almost a guarantee that Barrett will take his talents to New York, given the Knicks don’t trade away their pick in favor of Anthony Davis or another superstar. With $73 million in cap space opening up, the team could have a completely different look come next season, and that would be a very good thing.