New York Knicks: Leon Rose lauds team’s young core

New York Knicks, RJ Barrett

New York Knicks president Leon Rose was interviewed by MSG Networks’ Mike Breen Wednesday night on the “MSG 150 At Home.” The interview marked the first time Rose spoke publicly/virtually since joining the organization in February.

Among the many topics discussed were the team’s roster, which includes several young players and/or lottery selections. Rose said RJ Barrett, the Knicks’ 2019 first-round pick, and Mitchell Robinson, the Knicks’ 2018 second-round pick, are “two young core pieces.”

Barrett averaged 14.3 points, five rebounds and 2.6 assists per game while shooting 40.2 percent from the field and 32.0 percent from beyond the arc this season. Robinson averaged 9.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and two blocks per game while shooting an NBA-best 74.2 percent from the field.

Rose expressed excitement about some of the team’s other young players.

“I look forward to working with Kevin [Knox]. I think he’s just starting to scratch the surface,” Rose said. “Frank Ntilikina, given the right circumstances, I think can really prosper. And Dennis Smith, that’s a special talent right there.”

Knox, the Knicks’ 2018 first-round pick, averaged 6.4 points and 2.8 rebounds per game while shooting 35.9 percent from the field and 32.7 percent from beyond the arc this season.

Ntilikina, the Knicks’ 2017 first-round pick, averaged 6.3 points and three assists per game while shooting 39.3 percent from the field and 32.1 percent from beyond the arc this season.

Smith, acquired as part of the Knicks’ return in last season’s trade that sent Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks, averaged 5.5 points and 2.9 assists per game while shooting 34.1 percent from the field and 29.6 percent from beyond the arc this season.

Rose also referred to Julius Randle, who just finished the first season of a three-year, $63 million deal, as one of “some solid veterans” likely returning for the 2020-21 NBA season. Randle averaged 19.5 points and 9.7 rebounds per game while shooting 46.0 percent from the field and 27.7 percent from beyond the arc.

New York Knicks: What should we expect from RJ Barrett in year 2?

New York Knicks, RJ Barrett

While RJ Barrett might not have enjoyed statistic excellence in his rookie campaign, his tenacity, aggressiveness, and mentality were all on display. His numbers don’t do him justice for the effort he put forth amid a messy Knicks team. Through 56 games, RJ averaged 14 (PPG), five rebounds, and 2.6 assists. The New York Knicks were a dumpster fire this season. As a fan, it was tough to watch. Thankfully the 2019 season is over; the Knicks have a lot to work on.

Scoring More Points

RJ will be the Knicks’ best offensive option in 2020. Looking back at 2019, RJ There were multiple plays from the 2019 season that will drive Knicks fans crazy—seeing RJ open on the perimeter with no defender in sight. The Knicks in 2019 were too selfish. Throughout the season, Knicks players all tried creating opportunities without the help of their teammates. Obviously, this difficult to do.

Taking A Lead Role

Knicks fans, you will see RJ take a more prominent role in 2020. Year one gave RJ time to adjust to league play. Now it’s time for him to take a leadership role. During his rookie season, RJ gained respect from players and the Knicks front office. I expect to see RJ being more vocal in year two and challenging his teammates. For those who saw The Last DanceMichael Jordan would always push and challenge his teammates to be better. I can easily see Barrett being that type of teammate. Someone who is always motivating the people around him and challenging them to get better every day.

Playing Point Guard / Running The Offense

It’s possible that Barrett might be the best option at point guard moving forward. Last season, RJ ran the point for the Knicks and saw success at times. Not to forget, RJ is learning from one of the best point guards all time, Steve Nash. As we all know, it all depends on the NBA Draft and who the Knicks take. The Knicks have faltered in the luck category, and a top-five pick seems like a pipe-dream. If the Knicks somehow get lucky and land LaMelo Ball, things could look a lot different in 2020.

Overall, Knicks fans should expect a lot out of RJ in year two. The Knicks need him to take a more significant role on and off the court. I see RJ making an All-Star appearance next season. With a new front office, anything is possible!

Real or fake quote from New York Knicks rookie RJ Barrett? Hope it’s true

New York Knicks, RJ Barrett

New York Knicks rookie RJ Barrett is locked into ‘The Last Dance’.  He’s admiring Michael Jordan’s drive and determination to be the best.

In an interview with Scott Van Pelt, Barrett said, “Jordan was always my dad’s favorite player,’’ Barrett said. “So my dad, growing up, every day he would be like, “RJ, watch Michael Jordan. Watch what he does.” This is what Knicks fans want to hear. A young Barrett soaking in how Jordan plays the game.

Now, we aren’t sure if this next quote from Barrett is actual real but we hope it is.  After watching The Last Dance Barrett said this about fellow Knicks teammate, Julius Randle.  “I’m going to beat the s*** out of him in practice once the season returns.”

Barrett doesn’t seem like the person that would say something like this.  He’s a nice, well-mannered professional for his age.  Hard to believe that the Knicks first-year guard would say this about a teammate.  Even if he did say it, maybe he was joking. We’ll never know.

But for the fun of it, we’ll going to assume this is an accurate statement.  This could be exactly what Randle needs.  A young, fiery rookie coming to beat you up to make you a better player and teammate.  The Knicks need Barrett to actually do that, whether that quote is real or not.

Someone needs to get in Randle’s face and give him that kick in the a** like Jordan did to his teammates.  That was when Joran got the best out of them.  The Knicks don’t have a player pushing others to get better. Barrett can be that guy.

Randle tried to take it all upon himself this season to be the guy.  That especially was the case once the Knicks traded Marcus Morris to the Clippers.  And while his stats were solid, it was the ball hogging and one-on-one situations that got fans furious.

Barrett needs to embody everything he saw from Jordan as kid and now in There Last Dance’.  Even though he’s a rookie, the New York Knicks need him to be the leader of the team going forward.

New York Knicks even thinking of trading RJ Barrett is such click-bait

A few days ago, SNYs Ian Begley entered the click-bait arena for the New York Knicks.  Begley suggested the notion of trading RJ Barrett.

He wondered about the possibility of the Knicks trading Barrett for Victor Oladipo.

Begley is one of the best, if not the best, Knicks reporters.  He’s reliable, credible and brings down-to-earth updates.  This report is click-bait but in this time without sports we’ll let this one slide.

As for the actual possibility of trading Barrett, that shouldn’t even be a thought.  Him and Mitchell Robinson are untouchable.  Those two are the Knicks building blocks for the foreseeable future.

Oladipo is coming off a major injury.  The Knicks have had their fair share of taking a chance on players after major injuries.  Oladipo might not be the player he was before the injury even with all these new medical advances.  Maybe if he was fully healthy?  But even then, Barrett is a future all-star, and again a building block for the future, he can’t be traded.

Everyone has a click-bait report from time-to-time.  We’ve all done it.  Times are tough and writers/reporters will try to do anything to keep us all sane without sports.  No matter how off the wall or click-bait worthy it may be.  We all gotta keep the New York Knicks content rolling no matter what.  It’s what we do.

New York Knicks have a star on and off the court in RJ Barrett

New York Knicks, RJ Barrett

New York Knicks rookie RJ Barrett has helped out the first responders fighting COVID-19.  He’s donated over $250,000 to fight this deadly disease.  In New York, he’s donating medical equipment and in his native country of Canada donating sneakers.

“It’s inspiring to see how many people and organizations are working together to help make this time just a little bit easier,” Barrett said.  “If I can be of any help to reduce the burden for even just one person then I’m doing my job.”  He’s making Knicks fans all around the world saying that’s the face of our franchise.

It’s crazy to think about the maturity that this 19-year-old already has.  He’s been a constant professional through his first, half, season in the NBA.  In time where the Knicks have been making headlines for the wrong reasons, Barrett brings light to the franchise.

Barrett has been a star on the court as well.  He’s averaging 14.3 points on the season and has shown tremendous growth throughout.  Yes, he’s had some slumps but what rookie doesn’t.  It’s all about how he responds and he continues to show the Knicks fans that he’s capable of bouncing back.

The Knicks have a great face for their franchise moving forward.  A 19-year-old kid helping out communities all over the world is the bright spot in a very underwhelming season.  The New York Knicks, and their fans, should be proud of their rising star RJ Barrett.

The New York Knicks need to continue to build through the draft

New York Knicks, RJ Barrett

Rumors about the New York Knicks trading for a superstar is back.  SNYS Ian Begley reports that one member in the front believes, “It’s the best path for us.”

This is not the first time, or last, that these rumors will circulate.  It seems like every single season they’re reports of the Knicks trading for a superstar.  However, it never happens.

The Knicks have traded, and tried, to trade for superstars in the past.  The most recent was when the team traded for Carmelo Anthony.  Anthony gave the Knicks plenty of great years and memories.  But it didn’t get them a championship.  He did his best though.

While one member in the Knicks front office believes “it’s the best path” to go, it may not be the right one.

The, real, best path for the Knicks to take is continue to build through the draft.  The old way of trying and hoping for a superstar to come to New York and to turn the organization around is over.

Not many players, well established players, want to play for the Knicks.  They want to win and win now.  The Knicks aren’t winning. Unfortunately, what Kevin Durant said might be true, “The Knicks aren’t cool.”  Players want to go to a organization that is cool and have a less dysfunctional front office.

Therefore, the best way to go forward is building through the draft, which they’ve done a nice job the past few years.  The Knicks have two great building blocks in place with RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson.  Hopefully other young players like Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina can take bigger steps to be in the teams future.

Also, the Knicks have solid prospects in the G-league waiting for their chance, Ignas Brazdeikia, Kenny Wooten and Lamar Peters.

The Knicks should have a top 5 pick in the draft which should be another great building block.  Stay the course building through the draft.  That’s the best path for the New York Knicks right now.

New York Knicks: How realistic is a trade for Jazz star Donovan Mitchell?

New York Knicks, Donovan Mitchell

Would the New York Knicks be looking to trade for Donovan Mitchell amid relationship issues with Rudy Gobert?

If only Rudy Gobert didn’t go around touching microphones and teammates as an ill-advised joke before the coronavirus pandemic became an established force. Gobert’s relationship with Mitchell Robinson has reportedly disintegrated, opening up a doorway for a lowly team like the Knicks to pounce on one of the league’s young stars.

However, it would take a lot more than the Knicks are willing to offer to land Mitchell. Reports have indicated that the Jazz would need RJ Barrett or Mitchell Robinson and two first-round picks to land the star guard.

SNY’s Ian Begley stated regarding a potential deal:

If Mitchell were to seek a trade from the Jazz, one opposing executive, speculating, said that any Knicks package would probably have to include either RJ Barrett or Mitchell Robinson, and two first-round picks (one of them unprotected). So if you are putting together potential Knicks trade packages for Mitchell, it makes sense to start there. And, obviously, if Utah was trading Mitchell and keeping Gobert, the club wouldn’t want to deal for Robinson.

That’s an interesting point — there would be no need for Robinson with Gobert already on the team, a premium level center with elite defensive attributes. Barrett would have to be included, and the Knicks aren’t looking to deal the 3rd overall pick from the 2019 NBA draft.

To conclude, this deal ‘isn’t’ realistic by any means, and the Knicks will likely never touch Donovan Mitchell. They’re better off waiting for free agency next season and pursing a star player like Anthony Davis instead of trading away youth pieces for Mitchell. An alternative argument would be — trade for Mitchell now, sign Davis and solidify two elite players to build a foundation around.

Julius Randle’s and others future with the New York Knicks

The New York Knicks have the rumor mill spinning.  The big names that are rumored to being linked to the Knicks are now Joel Embiid and Donovan Mitchell.  Also, the possibility of shipping Julius Randle is back in the news.

NY Post’s Marc Berman suggests that Leon Rose could be open trading Randle, despite his CAA relationship.  The Knicks could’ve traded Randle to Charlotte before the trade deadline but they didn’t pull the trigger.

Knicks fans appear be on board with trading Randle.  He doesn’t fit the system and holds onto the ball to long.  Randle tends to play more one-on-one ball than team ball.  His shooting also regressed only making 27.7% of his attempts.  Randles play is only hurting the development of RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson.

Some Knicks teammates expressed their disgust with his play as well.  It’s odd to want to trade away a player that averages 19 points and 9 boards but it hasn’t panned out like people thought.

Rose has to decide if Randle is a fit for the future with the Knicks.  As of right now, if doesn’t seem like Randle will be in mix.  He’ll not brought back after his contract is up after the 2021-22 season if he remains a Knick.

More rumors that shouldn’t be talked about are trading for Donovan Mitchell and Joel Embiid.  The Sixers are open to dealing Embiid but will want a haul.  The same goes for Mitchell.  It’ll take a lot more than Barrett or Robinson and 2 upcoming 1st round picks, like hypothetical trade talks have suggested.  If the Knicks were to trade for either, there won’t be any good players left to pair with.

The best thing for Rose to do is build around Barrett and Robinson.  Fans will have to deal with one more season of Randle unless Rose has some tricks up his sleeve.  The New York Knicks need Rose to make some magic happen for them to be contenders in the near future.

New York Knicks’ RJ Barret was just starting to heat up

New York Knicks’ youngster RJ Barrett has had an up and down rookie season. It’s been hard for him to find consistent growth in a team surrounded by chaos. However, since the All-Star break, RJ has upped his game.

One area where the entire New York Knicks as a team have struggled is perimeter shooting. RJ, in particular, has been under scrutiny for his low shooting percentages. On the season he is shooting 32% from 3 and an abysmal 61.4% from the free-throw line.

Those aren’t great numbers for a perimeter player. However, RJ seemed like he was beginning to show some progress.

His shooting has looked better.

RJ looks as though he’s gained some more confidence with his shot. His 4.0 3-point field goal attempts per game in his last 8 games is a slight uptick from what he averages on the season. More importantly, he’s shot them at 37.5%. His free-throw percentage in his last 8 games is 68.3%. Not great, but better.

While the jump shot is still a work in progress, RJ has shown all season long he can slash his way into the paint. He’s been taking high-quality shots. His field goal percentage has spiked to a terrific 48.2% in his last 8 games. He’s put points on the board, posting just over 18 points per game.

His playmaking is also improving. During this 8 game stretch, he’s averaged 3.5 assists per game. Overall, RJ looked a lot more comfortable in the weeks right before the NBA season was suspended.

It may be a small sample size, but 8 games is a nice chunk of time to examine some numbers. RJ looks like he’s making important strides. Unfortunately, the league canceled play right as he was heating up.

Report: Did the Knicks make the right decision drafting RJ Barrett?

New York Knicks, RJ Barrett

With the NBA postponing the remainder of the season due to the coronavirus pandemic, the New York Knicks have been given the gift of conservation. Rather, being put out of their misery during another tumultuous season.

The knicks did see some positives this past year as rookie RJ Barrett displayed his potential in The Garden and in front of former Knicks fan, Spike Lee (joking).

If the season does end early, Barrett will have finished with a solid stat line in his rookie year — 14.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.0 steal per game. Both Zion Williamson and Ja Morant have been impressive, providing highlight real plays daily.

“Everyone is going to talk about Ja (Morant) and Zion (Williamson), for obvious reasons,” one Western Conference executive said, per Ian Begley of SNY. “But I like RJ a lot. I think he can have a long, successful career in this league if he stays healthy.”

The pleasures of youth bless Barrett and his team, as he boasted confidence beyond the likes of many. His desire to simply play the beautiful game and reach his potential has put him in a spot of leverage, whereas players like Julius Randle have been selfish on the court and failed to make an impact.

Western Conference executive: “We all talk about his shot, but I think that will come because, by all accounts, he’s a worker. What I liked about RJ this season was how comfortable he was on the floor. He didn’t seem to be overwhelmed by anything on the court – and that’s big, especially in a market like New York. Teams started to play his left hand a lot — so he’s got to work on going right — but he was still effective going left even though teams had that scouted. He still got to the rim. But he also seemed to get tunnel vision at times — not passing enough for my taste. Maybe that had more to do with the guys he shared the floor with? Whatever it was, I think his passing will improve with time. He’s showed that he can distribute the ball and has strong vision. So I think there’s a lot to build on.”

Barrett isn’t the most refine long-range shooter, but he’s competent in getting to the rim and drawing fouls. Hopefully, he can continue to build on the success he’s already enjoyed and develop is shot to an adequate level. He hit on 32% of three-point shots this season before operations shut down. The league average hovers in the 36% range, which isn’t too far off from where Barrett lies. He has plenty of time to refine that part of his game.