‘Realistic’ Trade Proposal Sees Knicks Swap RJ Barrett for $251 Million All-Star

RJ Barrett, New York Knicks

Getty RJ Barrett of the New York Knicks dribbles the ball against the Indiana Pacers.

Ever since it was reported that the Washington Wizards were mulling over the idea of a full-fledged rebuild, the New York Knicks have oft been linked as a potential trade partner for several of their players, specifically star guard Bradley Beal.

Recently, Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey concocted what he considers a “realistic” trade scenario that could end up sending the veteran to the Big Apple this summer.

The hypothetical exchange reads as follows:

New York Knicks receive: Bradley Beal

Washington Wizards receive: RJ Barrett, Evan Fournier, and a 2024 first-round pick

In Bailey’s eyes, the Knicks should strongly consider the idea of parting ways with former third-overall pick RJ Barrett this summer, as he’s proven to be rather inefficient with this new-look squad, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.

“There’s certainly some untapped potential from RJ Barrett, but the Knicks are minus-1.9 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor during his career (compared to plus-3.9 without him). For four years, his shooting has been dreadful, and replacing him with Beal in that starting five would be a short-term upgrade. Prior to this season, that kind of thinking may have seemed short-sighted, but the addition and breakout of Jalen Brunson sort of changes the calculus for New York,” Bailey wrote.

Without question, Bradley Beal would be an immense upgrade in the offensive department for New York.

A three-time All-Star, the 29-year-old could be argued as being the best backcourt scoring option in the association when healthy, as he’s averaged a whopping 27.6 points on 47.4% shooting from the field over the last four seasons while averaging over 30 points twice during this span.

Adding him to a rotation already consisting of Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson would not only give the Knicks a third go-to trusty scoring option but also would finally land them the top-billed star talent that SNY’s Ian Begley suggests James Dolan ultimately hired president Leon Rose to get.

RJ Barrett Would Have Fresh Start With Wizards

Though Andy Bailey was quick to point out his struggles throughout his four-year tenure with the Knicks, he would go on to note in his piece that RJ Barrett has also shown flashes of being a quality building block at the next level and, if he were to be dealt in such a hypothetical exchange, the Wizards should be excited about his upside potential.

“For Washington, this deal gets them a first-rounder for a player whose salary will scare most teams off. Barrett, despite the concerning numbers, can still develop into a useful two-way player,” Bailey wrote.

Despite his shooting woes, RJ Barrett is coming off of quite an impressive statistical season. Seeing 73 games of action, the wing went on to post solid averages of 19.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.8 assists.

He would also see a near month-long stretch under the bright lights of the postseason where he upped his production considerably, as he found himself posting sensational averages of 21.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.7 assists while shooting 47.9% from the floor and 35.8% from deep from April 18 through May 10.

The Knicks went 5-3 during this period.

Knicks Have ‘Richest Offer’ for Bradley Beal

RJ Barrett may be a popular name mentioned in hypothetical Bradley Beal-to-Knicks trade packages, but the front office has far more than just the 22-year-old to dangle in Washington’s direction.

In fact, Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer recently went on record to argue that of all teams that could pursue the star guard, New York could prove to have the best offer, at least from a draft capital perspective.

“To be clear: There’s no indication yet from league personnel that New York is going to seriously pursue Beal. But if the Knicks, as an example, could part with Julius Randle and Evan Fournier plus a package of first-round picks, that might be Washington’s best path to the richest offer in draft compensation,” Fischer wrote.

The Knicks may not currently have a pick in this coming draft, but they hold the rights to seven total first-rounders through 2026, including a Wizards’ (protected 1-12 in 2024, 1-10 in 2025, and 1-8 in 2026), which turns into an2026 second-round pick and a 2027 second-round pick if it doesn’t convey.