The work ethic of New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett has never been questioned. Ever since being drafted by the organization in 2019, the Canadian forward has improved his skills for the past three seasons.
Now going into his fourth season, Barrett is looking to take further steps to become an All-Star caliber player for the Knicks. The 2022 offseason has been good to Barrett, who recently signed a four-year, $120 million extension. The extension insures that the organization prioritizes the 22-year-old as one of the main core pieces.
The offseason has also been good to Barrett due to him working on his craft and getting better as the season approaches. In a video that was released on NBA.com, the forward is seen working on his offensive game.
In the video, Barrett is seen working on shooting off the dribble, an essential skill that will be important to acquire if he wants to take that next leap. The footage also shows Barrett’s longtime trainer Drew Hanlen, who can be heard instructing the fourth year wing during the workout. Hanlen has also trained other NBA stars such as Jayson Tatum and Joel Embiid.
In the clip, Barrett made it known that shooting off the dribble has been important for him during the offseason.
“This summer has been a lot of working out and getting better at different things,” Barrett said. “Today was just ball-handling, floaters, finishing and the shooting off the dribble specifically.”
In an interview with CP “The Fanchise” of KnicksFanTV, Barrett mentioned that he was working on shooting off the dribble and making free throws during his offseason work.
Barrett Wants to Achieve All-Star Goal
The video of Barrett’s offseason work also showed how he strives on reaching that All-Star level this upcoming season.
“I’m trying to step into being that guy and getting out of being a young guy conversation,” Barrett said. “Kind of propel to be that All-Star and a great player for many years to come.”
Barrett has hefty goals but the good news is he has made improvements throughout his time in the league. Starting from his rookie season to last season, the point production has always increased. From averaging 14.3 points his rookie season to coming off a season where he averaged 20 points per game, the ceiling is high.
One of the main knocks on the Knicks rising star is his inefficiency. Analyzing his three seasons, Barrett has shot better than 40 percent from the field once which was in his second season and also the year the Knicks made the playoffs.
Barrett will need to improve his efficiency if he wants to reach that All-Star level. Another aspect of his game that will be important for Barrett to correct in his fourth season will be knocking down free throws.
Driving to the basket and getting to the free throw line are strengths of Barrett. The two-way forward had an average of 5.8 free throw attempts last season, but shot only 71 percent from the free throw line. Getting those extra points and becoming a good free throw shooter can help Barrett increase his efficiency.
ESPN & CBS Top 100 Rankings
The NBA season is less than a month away and major networks are releasing their top 100 players for the 2022-2023 season.
ESPN released their top 100 rankings which saw Barrett getting placed at No. 63. This is an upgrade for the recently extended Knick who wasn’t even on the rankings the year prior. ESPN also put three of Barrett’s teammates on the rankings as well, ranking Mitchell Robinson at No. 98, Julius Randle at No. 71 and Jalen Brunson at No. 67.
CBS Sports also released a top 100 rankings and placed Barrett at No. 63, the same spot ESPN ranked him. The network ranked Barrett at No. 100 last year, moving him 37 spots this year.
Two other Knicks were on the CBS Sports rankings, putting Julius Randle at No. 74 and Jalen Brunson at No. 60.
If Barrett does have the kind of season he hopes to have, his ranking will rise next year.