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RJ Barrett: Never Say Never About A Trade

The Knicks may be discreetly shopping the young wing

2021 NBA Playoffs - Atlanta Hawks v New York Knicks
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 2: RJ Barrett #9 of the New York Knicks dribbles the ball against the Atlanta Hawks during Round 1, Game 5 of the 2021 NBA Playoffs on June 2, 2021 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. 
Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Things can change fast.

On Wednesday, we talked a bit about how Rick Pitino was so impressed with former Duke star RJ Barrett’s improvement and how last year there was trade talk but not this year.

Well, now there is.

Apparently the Knicks are willing to let Barrett go if that brought them a Damian Lillard or Bradley Beal.

Lillard is reportedly unhappy with Portland’s new coaching hire, Chauncey Billups, and isn’t sure the team can build towards a championship.

As for Beal, who is very tight with former Blue Devil Jayson Tatum, he has said he’d prefer to stay with the Washington Wizards.

As far as Barrett goes, he’s been clear from Day One: New York was always his team and that’s where he’d like to be.

That said, he surely knows by now that it’s a business and that if the Knicks can improve themselves by trading him, they’ll do it in a heartbeat.

Our one concern is that Barrett is 10 years younger and you don’t know how long a 31-year-old player will hold up, especially a guard.

And the Knicks should probably think twice because Barrett could be a very helpful recruiting aide if, as rumored, Zion Williamson wants to leave New Orleans after his rookie contract is up.