The New York Knicks have been busy this offseason as they’ve made a big splash by bringing in Jalen Brunson.
Brunson signed a four-year deal in excess of $100 million, effectively anchoring the point guard spot for the foreseeable future. While he’s dominated much of the headlines so far, the Knicks have made some other important moves.
Perhaps the biggest move outside of Brunson is the resigning of Mitchell Robinson. The Knicks starter was expected to test his free agency, and he was even drawing some interest from within the conference. Eventually he decided to come back to New York on a four-year, $60 million deal.
Once news of the signing spread, Robinson’s teammate RJ Barrett, somebody due for his own pay bump soon, immediately congratulated the center on his new deal.
Firm Handshakes from Barrett
Barrett, responding to Adrian Wojnarowski’s tweet of the news, simply said “Money mitch” in congratulating his teammate on the new contract.
The former second round pick was getting a raise no matter what as he was coming off a $1.6 million deal last season, and this was just a little bit over what was expected.
If Barrett signs the five-year extension he’s eligible for, these two would be together in New York for the long haul as they help turn the Knicks back into a contender.
The team is just one year removed from the playoffs, with home court at that, so making it back to the playoffs is certainly doable.
Sticking Brunson into the starting lineup with Barrett, Robinson, Julius Randle and Evan Fournier seems nice on paper, but Knicks fans know that things aren’t always exactly as they seem.
“I don’t think they’ve gotten anywhere close to what we would even call a negotiation, but in the weeks leading up to the draft they were calling about all these contracts that we talked about from last summer,” The Athletic’s Fred Katz said on the “Callin’ Shots” podcast. “I know that they have spoken to other teams about Randle, but I think the Randle stuff is way more informal.”
Barrett Ready for Extension
In what can only be considered a bizarre stat, the last time a Knicks first-round pick signed an extension was in 1999, and Barrett is poised to break that streak. Whether he gets the full max extension like Zion Williamson signed remains to be seen, but an anonymous NBA executive isn’t banking on it.
“He is overvaluing himself if he is set on the max,” the exec told Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney. “He is not going to get the max, and the question is, will he fight for it? It’s $180 million over five years. Probably not going to get that. But that will be a starting point for his side and it is a matter of how low the Knicks can get them to go. $150 million is probably too much. DeMar DeRozan got $26 million per year and that is probably the ballpark, five years and $120-130 million. He has shown great flashes and great stretches but he has to be more consistent, he needs to be a better shooter to be a No. 1 option.”
Barrett has improved each season he’s been in the league, but he has a long way to go before he’s mentioned in the same breath as somebody like Ja Morant or Williamson, both of which have been selected to All-Star Games in their career.