New York Knicks: Is RJ Barrett the future star they’ve been looking for?

NBA New York Knicks RJ Barrett (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
NBA New York Knicks RJ Barrett (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

The New York Knicks might’ve missed out on Zion Williamson, but they have a future star of their own in RJ Barrett.

These are peculiar times for the NBA, sports and in the world for that matter. As the NBA is put on hold for at least 30 days, we can only wait. Having said that, one of the most storied franchises in NBA history – New York Knicks – still have huge questions surrounding their immediate and long-term future.

They haven’t made the playoffs since the 2012-13 NBA season and haven’t won an NBA Finals title since the 1972-73 season. However, the hope is that RJ Barrett is a key part to the team’s next title run and return to prominence.

Barrett has been groomed to be a star at the NBA level since he started dribbling a basketball. His father, Rowan, also played basketball professionally on the international level. Growing up, this was all Barrett knew. Basketball was just another part of his life.

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Adding to his family tree, Steve Nash, who is very close to the family, is his “godfather” so it’s only natural that he’s made for stardom in the NBA. It’s in his blood and he grew up around the culture. Despite all that, the talent is there too. His ceiling is extremely high.

Barrett can slash to the hoop with easy and make a pass on a dime. He has potential to be a good overall shooter and has proven so when he gets hot. There’s no question that he still needs help in developing at the NBA level, but the future is certainly bright.

He showed flashes of just that in one of the last games he played in, against Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks. Instead of the usual 30 minutes, he played 39 minutes. And what a game this man had. He scored 26 points, pulled down five rebounds, and had four assists on 64 percent shooting from the field.

What was more impressive was his defensive play. Barrett finished the game with two steals and one block. Over his last five games, he was averaging nearly two steals per contest to go along with his 17 points per game.

Moving forward won’t be easy for the Knicks. However, if you have one solid piece in place, as RJ Barrett is, then it gets a little bit easier to navigate. With a projected top 6 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, New York will have a chance to add a talented running mate next to Barrett.

One potential target is LaMelo Ball. Ball is projected to be a top 10 pick in this upcoming NBA Draft and would help create a deadly combination with Barrett in New York.

Add in a couple of veterans in free agency and the Knicks could fight their way back into the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference next season.

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A championship might still be considered far away for the New York Knicks, but there’s no question that this team is one step closer with RJ Barrett already on the roster. He’s a superstar in the making.