The Knicks reportedly preferred to wait for RJ Barrett’s extension, possibly until free agency is restricted

After a month of appearing like the landing favourite, Donovan Mitchell, New York Knicks It has already been bid Cleveland Cavalierswho sent three unprotected picks in the first round, the right to two swaps, Colin Sexton (signing and trading), Laurie Markanen and 2022 No. 14 overall, Ocha Agbaji picked to Utah Jazz versus Mitchell.

Three days earlier, the Knicks signed RJ Barrett, who they were offering to Utah as part of Mitchell’s, four-year, $120 million package, as Announced in this glowing statement.

“We are pleased to announce a well-deserved extension for RJ Barrett, which is an essential part of our team foundation,” said Knicks president Leon Rose. “At just 22 years old, he has raised the bar every season, establishing himself as a force on both ends of the field. We believe he will continue to improve because of his passion for the game and dedication to his craft. We want to continue building our team and culture around players like RJ who possess these values ​​and qualities.”

Steve Berman of the New York Post paints a different picture, one that’s not one that reflects a team that is “euphoric” with Barrett’s long-term commitment, but one that almost had to do so. from Berman:

“According to an NBA source, the Knicks would have preferred not to sign Barrett for a huge contract extension at the moment. They at least wanted to wait until the mid-October deadline to see him at training camp — or until July 1, when he would arrive at restricted free agency. .

“They didn’t want to pay RJ now, they like RJ, but he’s not one of their buddies,” an NBA source said. “The preference was to trade him in the Donovan deal…if they got Donovan without Barrett in the deal, they wouldn’t pay RJ now.”

Once the Knicks caught wind, the Cavaliers were up front for Mitchell, the source said, they took a step toward agreeing terms with Barrett.

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

Let’s be clear about one thing here: This is the source of the NBA. It could be anyone. Some low-level scouts for the Pacers, as far as we know. He is not listed as a source close to the team, to Rose, or to anyone else who appears to have a direct connection to the New York decision makers.

Having said that, we don’t know that this source doesn’t know what he’s talking about either. It is a report. Make it what it will be. What we do know, or at least what has been more realistically reported, is that the Knicks were actually willing to trade Barrett for Mitchell.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski She mentioned that Barrett was part of the New York Show In July for Mitchell. There have been reports that New York has become unwilling to add Quentin Grimes or more unprotected selections to their show for Mitchell, but Barrett will almost certainly be an essential part of any outgoing package.

Also, the extension that New York gave Barrett is not an extreme. It’s a lot of money, no doubt, but if you don’t extend your #3 pick overall to the extreme deal, let alone if you’re actively trying to trade it, you aren’t who – which Overjoyed at what I saw from the man. For Barrett, $120 million feels right. It could be all stars. But not yet.

It’s a reasonable and frankly logical position that New York wanted to wait and see how Barrett’s season plays out before committing to it for the long term. The flip side of that, of course, is that they might have made him on the cheap if he turned into an All-Star this season. As a restricted free agent next summer, Barrett could have forced New York to pay more than $120 million over four, to keep him with only one other team making a higher bid.

Leaving out all the details, this sounds like a consolation prize for New York. hey we ain’t got mitchell let’s at least lock up our guy so it looks like we did something on our own terms. To me, whether that is what New York wants or not, Barrett’s retention and future flexibility of eight trade-qualified draft picks is a better outcome than trading the farm in Mitchell’s favour.

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