rj barrett knicks
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The New York Knicks are making a commitment to RJ Barrett, one that contains nine figures. Barrett, 22, is inking a four-year extension per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. SNY’s Ian Begley added more intel on the structure of Barrett’s deal, which could reach $120 million if he nails his incentives.

The Charlie Ward Curse is over — the Orange and Blue signed a first-round pick to a multi-year extension. Knicks fans are going to be glad that tidbit of trivia is a thing of the past (at least after a healthy dose of it while folks discuss Barrett’s extension).

As Woj notes, this changes the conversation around a potential Donovan Mitchell trade. Some recent reports suggested that Barrett was more involved in negotiations than we were originally led to believe. This takes Barrett off the table in Mitchell negotiations completely. At the very least, it’s clear that the Knicks are setting a hard limit at the negotiating table.


The proxy war through the media will continue as Leon Rose and Danny Ainge try to hammer out the details of a deal. The goal for the Knicks should have always been to pair Mitchell with Barrett. The young wing’s potential is obvious to anyone with a pair of eyes and without an agenda. Even if a Mitchell deal gets done, Barrett could wind up as the face of the Knicks.

The Knicks have the leverage over the Jazz. Utah could always walk away from the table, but Ainge is already shipping guys off. He wants to tank and that’s not possible with Mitchell on the roster. Not to mention, Rose knows he has the chance to call anyone else at the table.

This is yet another development in the ongoing Donovan Mitchell sage.

UPDATE:

After the Woj tweet comes an article with more information on this Barrett extension. Apparently, Utah wanted Barrett, Quentin Grimes, and multiple unprotected first-round picks. Woj notes that other teams are not lining up to make offers, though. Talks between the Knicks and Jazz aren’t dead, but they’re on life-support:

“Once the Knicks committed to Barrett’s extension, management became resigned to the fact that there’s a much more difficult path to an offseason deal to acquire Mitchell. Nevertheless, neither Utah or New York is ruling out restarting the talks before the start of training camps in late September, sources said.”

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Danny can be found on Twitter @dwsmall8

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.