The New York Knicks as a team might be going through a lot of struggles due to injuries and some other reasons, but it’s not grim for everybody on the team.
While forward Julius Randle has been mired in a season-long slump, fellow starter RJ Barrett has been playing the best basketball of his young career.
Through January, Barrett averaged 21.8 points per game, 6.0 rebounds and shot 40.2 percent from three. For the team’s best scorer, those are good numbers and it proves that he will be a big focal point of the Knicks going forward.
There might be some players unaware of the type of performances they are putting up night in and night out, but not Barrett. In fact, he believes this is the best he’s played since he’s been in the NBA.
RJ Barrett Responds
After seeing the stats for January, Barrett made perhaps the boldest statement of his NBA career.
“I think it was some of the best basketball I played since I been in the league,” he said.
Looking at the stats, it’s hard to argue too much with that statement as he was on a scoring tear, and it was also very efficient.
While this strong performance didn’t help a ton in the win department, it seems clear that Barrett will factor in as a massive building block for the team in the future.
There are trade rumors swirling around just about everybody on the team, including some of the younger players like Obi Toppin. At this point, it seems like Barrett is the only one who is a lock to stay on the roster, but even that can’t be guaranteed.
Knicks Have Decisions to Make
The New York Knicks find themselves in a very interesting situation as they are sitting at 24-27, which is a bad record no matter which way you slice it, but they are just a half game back from the 10th seed, which would mean they make the play-in tournament.
However, they would have to decide if trying for that is even worth it because being quickly dispatched by the Miami Heat or Brooklyn Nets wouldn’t really be the sign of a good season.
It might be worth sinking even further in the standings for draft position, but the Knicks could show some resistance to that considering the amount of talent on the roster as it is.
For a tank like that to make sense, names like Alec Burks, Walker and Fournier would certainly have to be shopped and traded. There’s still some time for the Knicks to come up with something for a trade, so it doesn’t happen to all happen right away.
At the very least, they’d likely want to find a way to free up minutes for Cam Reddish. Since he’s come over in the trade from the Hawks, he’s been riding the bench and that can’t be why they decided to acquire him.