In many ways, former Duke star RJ Barrett is exactly what you’d want in an NBA player, and in particular a New York Knick. First, he really, really wants to be there, and over the last couple of decades, not everyone was passionate about playing for the New York Knicks.
Secondly, he’s a high-character player who has worked really hard to get better.
And third, he’s established himself as a player the Knicks can build around.
So it really surprised us to see his name pop up in trade rumors. Yes, it’s a business, and if you have a chance to get a truly great player, well, that would give anyone pause.
But Barrett, his talents aside, gives New York a chance to hit reset in a lot of ways. Talent of course, but also the fact that New York has always been his dream team and he has always wanted to play there.
On some level, when possible - and we know it’s not always possible in professional team sports - loyalty should be honored.
Well looks like it might be, at least for now, as the Knicks reportedly have little interest in trading their young star.
If they were really smart, what they’d do is to sign free agent and fellow Brotherhood member JJ Redick and pay him to be a part-time shooting coach as well, a job he could transition into full-time later. Barrett has improved immensely from outside and clearly he’s been getting good coaching but Redick is one of the purest shooters of all time and has a work ethic similar, if not superior to Barrett’s. He’d be a huge asset for the Knicks going forward.