R.J. Barrett, Knicks Finalizing Four-Year Contract Extension

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Much of the attention on the New York Knicks has focused on the reported pursuit of Donovan Mitchell in recent days, with the poorly kept secret that New York is extremely interested in adding the Utah Jazz guard to the fold via trade. However, the Knicks also entered the waning weeks of the offseason with another piece of intriguing business to tend to in the form of a potential contract extension for former No. 3 overall pick R.J. Barrett.

On Monday evening, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Barrett and the Knicks are coming together on a nine-figure extension that will keep the former Duke standout in New York and, in the process, potentially impact the talks between the Knicks and Jazz about Mitchell.

Wojnarowski immediately noted the possible ramifications on a Mitchell deal, though it is noteworthy that talks would only be forced to change if Barrett was previously in the mix. As for the contract itself, it will be interesting to see what the full details are, but Barrett is reportedly set to earn at least $100 million over four years with the potential to reach a $30 million average annual value.

Barrett, who recently turned 22 years old, averaged 20 points and 5.8 rebounds per game in his third season, though he took a step back in his efficiency from his second campaign with the Knicks. He did improve defensively, however, and Barrett’s new pact could become a bargain if his play continues to improve as the NBA’s salary cap rises.

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As for the Knicks and the ongoing pursuit of Mitchell, New York could center an offer around a stockpile of draft picks and young players. With that said, talks could be hitting a real snag based on Wojnarowski’s reporting of an imposed deadline on Monday that partially led to the agreement with Barrett.

Barrett’s new deal keeps him with the Knicks, and he joins Zion Williamson and Ja Morant as fellow top draft picks from the 2019 class that will reportedly secure massive rookie-scale extensions. The next steps will be interesting on all sides, but New York will certainly hope that Barrett continues an upward trajectory as a centerpiece of the franchise.





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