Knicks reportedly preferred to wait on RJ Barrett extension, perhaps until restricted free agency

A month after what looked like Donovan Mitchell’s favorite to sign, the New York Knicks bid was beaten by the Cleveland Cavaliers, who sent three unprotected first-round picks, two pick swaps Kwon, Collin Sexton (sign and trade), Lauri Markkanen 2022 No. 14 pick Ochai Agbaji to the Utah Jazz for Mitchell.

Three days ago, the Knicks signed RJ Barrett, who offered Utah a four-year, $120 million extension as part of Mitchell’s package, as stated in this glowing statement. as announced.

“We are pleased to announce the well-deserved extension of RJ Barrett, which is a core part of our franchise’s foundation,” Knicks president Leon Rose said. “At just 22 years old, he has improved his game every season, solidifying his strengths on both ends of the field. We are confident that he will continue to improve due to his passion for the game and dedication to his craft. We hope Continue to build our team and culture around players like RJ who share these values ​​and qualities.”

The New York Post’s Steve Berman paints a different picture, one that reflects not a team “excited” to commit to Barrett long-term, but one that is almost forced to do so. From Berman:

“According to an NBA source, the Knicks would rather not sign Barrett’s massive contract extension at the moment. They want to wait at least until the mid-October deadline to see him in training camp — even July 1 Day, when he will play restricted free agency.

“They don’t want to pay RJ right now, they like RJ, but he’s not one of them,” the NBA source said. “The first choice would be to trade him in Donovan’s trade. … If they get Donovan without Barrett, they’re not going to pay RJ right now.”

Once the Knicks got wind of it and the Cavaliers had the lead on Mitchell, they took a step toward a deal with Barrett, sources said.

“They have to do something,” the source said.

Let’s make one thing clear here: this is an “NBA” source. That could be anyone. As far as we know, some low-level scouts on the Pacers. It is not listed as a source close to the team, Rose or anyone else who may have direct ties to New York policymakers.

That said, we don’t know the source nor what he or she is talking about. This is a report. Do whatever you want. What we do know, or at least report more specifically, is that the Knicks are indeed preparing to trade Barrett for Mitchell.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski Barrett is part of New York offer, report says July is Mitchell. There have been reports that New York is reluctant to add Quentin Grimes or more unprotected picks to Mitchell’s offer, but Barrett will almost certainly be a central part of any outgoing package.

Also, New York’s extension to Barrett isn’t the biggest.It’s a lot of money, no doubt, but if you don’t extend your third overall pick, let alone if you’re actively trying to trade him, you won’t That Excited about what you see from this guy. For Barrett, $120 million feels right. He could be an All-Star. But he hasn’t.

It’s a credible and frankly logical position that New York wants to wait and see how Barrett’s season plays out before committing to him long-term. Of course, on the other hand, if he becomes an All-Star this season, they might get him on the cheap. As a restricted free agent next summer, Barrett could have forced New York to pay more than $120 million over four games to keep him connected to another team with a higher offer.

Stripped of all the details, it does have a bit of a consolation prize for New York. Hey we didn’t get Mitchell we at least locked up our own so it looked like we did something on our own termsFor me, whether New York wants it or not, retaining Barrett and the future flexibility of eight trade-eligible picks is better than swapping the farm for Mitchell.

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