Knicks Issue Strong Statements on RJ Barrett After Trade

RJ Barrett of the New York Knicks.

Getty RJ Barrett of the New York Knicks.

The New York Knicks have had a rough go of things this offseason. They inked point guard Jalen Brunson to a massive contract, which seemed to be their goal of the summer, but other than that, it’s been an up-and-down summer for them.

They managed to offload Kemba Walker during the NBA Draft but, in turn, were forced to give up their draft pick. But more recently, their failure came with the inability to successfully negotiate a Donovan Mitchell trade. They tried, but in the end, Mitchell ended up with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Instead, they ended up re-signing RJ Barrett to a four-year, $120 million contract extension. If the Utah Jazz had accepted their offer, though, he would have been included in the trade package. But ever since the deal with Cleveland went through, New York has made it clear that they are fully invested in Barrett. Their recent Twitter activity reflects that.


In fact, since the Mitchell trade was announced at 3:30 p.m. on September 1, the Knicks have posted Barrett content five different times on their Twitter feed. It sends the statement that they are fully committed to the young wing, despite their clear willingness to include him in trade packages just a day prior, as reports indicated he was a part of multiple potential deals.

Barrett Was Included in Offered Trade Packages

It was Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN who broke the news that Mitchell was traded to the Cavaliers. Shortly after the initial announcement, Wojnarowski penned a piece that explained New York’s final offer. The Knicks reported balked at including Quentin Grimes in the deal, but both Barrett and Immanuel Quickley would have been thrown in the trade package.

“New York had the assets Utah preferred and the sides seemed to be inching closer to a trade Sunday night and into Monday, but the Knicks balked on including Quentin Grimes in a trade with RJ Barrett to acquire Mitchell, sources said.

“When guard Immanuel Quickley was proposed as a replacement for Grimes in the trade, Utah wanted three unprotected first-round draft picks as part of the package — but New York would only do a third first-round pick that included top-five protections, sources said,” Wojnarowski wrote.

Later that night, Wojnarowski revealed even more shocking information.

Knicks’ Initial Package Was Even Larger

While a package that includes Barrett, Quickley, and three first-round picks may already seem like a lot to Knicks fans, their initial offer for Mitchell was even larger. According to Wojnarowski, it would have included Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, Obi Toppin, and three unprotected firsts.

“At the start of trade talks in July, New York offered Utah a Donovan Mitchell package including RJ Barrett, Obi Toppin, Mitchell Robinson and three unprotected first-round picks, sources tell ESPN. Jazz turned down that offer and Robinson signed a $60M extension to stay w/ NY,” Wojnarowski tweeted.

Once it was clear that neither side would be able to come to an agreement, Leon Rose put his foot down and signed Barrett to an extension instead. That opened the door for Cleveland to make the deal, and in the end, Knicks fans may be happy that the Jazz declined New York’s first offer.

And for now, the team are making two things clear – Barrett is a building block, and the Knicks are happy he is there.

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