Scott Perry Believes Knicks Misused RJ Barrett, Weighs in on Trade

Scott Perry, New York Knicks

Getty Former New York Knicks general manager Scott Perry.

The man responsible for drafting RJ Barrett for the New York Knicks believes the trade with the Toronto Raptors for OG Anunoby is a win-win move for all parties.

Former Knicks general manager Scott Perry alluded that his and now Barrett’s former team has misused the former no. 3 pick.

“I’m a real big fan of RJ Barrett, but I always thought he would be better at [shooting] guard position,” Perry said in his instant reaction to Saturday’s blockbuster trade on the Hoop Genius podcast. “They’ve been playing him at [small forward], and even some backup [power forward].”

The 23-year-old Barrett, who spent his first four-plus seasons in the NBA with the Knicks, is headed home to Canada, where his basketball dreams began.

“On the Toronto side, you’re feeling good,” Perry said. “You bring RJ Barrett back who’s been a very successful NBA player. He’s from there, so he’s gonna be a big draw in your building. He’s gonna be happy to be playing there representing his hometown [team] Raptors.”

But the big get for the Raptors is Immanuel Quickley, a Sixth Man of the Year finalist last season.

“Picking up Immanuel Quickley is huge for [Raptors]. He’s proven already in a short time in the league that he’s one of the best at coming off the bench and scoring a lot of points in a hurry.”

Quickley also stands to benefit from the trade as he gets a real shot at starting, a role he covets but will never get in New York. The Knicks were reluctant to start him alongside Jalen Brunson, another small guard in their backcourt.

Knicks’ Coveted Prize

The Knicks have coveted Anunoby since the last trade deadline. A 6-foot-7 All-Defensive forward with a 7’2 wingspan and a soft touch from deep is what they envisioned to be the perfect no. 3 behind their current top two stars.

“OG brings more size to that [wing] position,” Perry said, “and he brings a better defensive component and he’s a guy that in terms of just catching and shooting and spotting up will fit well with Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson who are more adept at [being] ball-dominant players.”

A career 37.5% 3-point shooter, Anunoby is way better than Barrett, whose clunky jump shot has plagued the Knicks.

Barrett’s defense has regressed over time and his outside shot remains suspect. He is only knocking down 34.5% of his 3s this season as he cooled off after a hot start. He’s never shot above 35% from downtown since his career-high 40.1% during his sophomore year, which proves to be an outlier.

In Anunoby, the Knicks now have an elite 3-and-D player, the archetype perimeter defender to counter Jayson Tatum and Jalen Brown and dwarfed Damian Lillard Donovan Mitchell and Tyrese Maxey in the playoffs.

Underrated Pickup

Precious Achiuwa, alongside Malachi Flynn was throw-ins in the trade but one of them is an underrated pickup for the Knicks, according to Perry.

“This Precious Achiuwa that they picked up who obviously won’t be talked a lot about the deal but I think he can be very helpful to this [Knicks] team, “Perry said. “He brings some size and aggression on the front line, the physicality that will fit the New York style of play. [He will provide] some depth there with Mitchell Robinson being out now.”

The 6-foot-8 Achiuwa was hardened by New York playgrounds after playing in the Bronx and Newark in high school. A former McDonald’s All-American, Achiuwa also gives the Knicks a backup option if Isaiah Hartenstein, who is set to become a free agent, bolts out next summer.



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