RJ Barrett: Hot N Cold

RJ Barrett handling ball solo blue New York jersey 11 12 23
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RJ Barrett continues to struggle with consistency. Is it time for the Knicks to move on from him?

The RJ Barrett era with the Knicks has been a rollercoaster. One minute he looks like he’s going to be a future all-star then, the next minute he’s a shell of himself. This has been a never ending cycle since he was drafted by the Knicks in 2019. Recently, the latest example of this is how Barrett started this season compared to how he’s played over the last 8 games.

Two Different Barrett’s

In his first seven games of the season, Barrett looked like he was on a way to having a breakout season. He averaged 22.6 PPG while shooting 49% from the field and 50% from behind the arc (20-40). Barrett’s consistency with his perimeter shooting has been his Achilles heel since the start of his career. During this stretch, It looked like his consistency struggles would be a thing of the past. Unfortunately, this has not been the case over the last couple of weeks.

After Barrett’s hot start, he missed three games due to migraine headaches. Since his return, he hasn’t played near the level he was playing at before. Prior to the in-season tournament game against the Bucks, Barrett averaged 14.6 PPG while shooting 34% from the field and 25% from the three point line. Now, due to Barrett being sidelined for three games with a health issue, struggling in the first couple of games back is not a big deal. You usually take a game or two to get your mojo back. On the other hand, when you’ve been back for 8 games, now there’s a cause for concern. Especially when you play as bad as Barrett did in the tournament game against the Bucks on Tuesday night.

Not Good Enough In Milwaukee

Overall, The Knicks 122-146 loss against the Bucks was embarrassing. The game was close until the Bucks broke away during the 3rd quarter. Barrett finished with 23 points while shooting 7/18 from the field. He started the game 5-15 and just seemed to be out of sorts on both ends of the floor. In big games like this, you need to be at your best especially when you are playing the best. Barrett has struggled with big games in the past and this was just the latest example of that.

Keep Him or Move On?

At this point, if an opportunity to acquire a star player comes along, Barrett will have to be in the fold. As we all remember, the Knicks had the chance to acquire Donovan Mitchell during the 2022 Offseason. Ultimately, the asking price was too high and the Knicks were hesitant to move on from Barrett. If a deal like this comes along in the future, the Knicks shouldn’t be hesitant to move him.

R.J Barrett is not a bad player by any means but with him being in year 5 of his NBA career, the Knicks can’t keep waiting on him to take the next step. In order to be a star in this league, you have to play like one on a consistent basis. Barrett has continued to run into this roadblock which forces the Knicks to look at other options if they present themselves. With players like Zach Lavine , and Donovan Mitchell being involved in Knicks trade rumors, Barrett’s future in New York is uncertain. In the end, R.J Barrett has the capability to be an all star caliber player in this league. We’ll see if he can prove this before the Knicks decide to move on.

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