New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett is finalizing a four-year rookie extension that could be worth up to $120 million, his agent Bill Duffy of BDA Sports and WME Sports told ESPN on Monday, complicating the franchise’s offseason trade pursuit of Utah Jazz All-Star Donovan Mitchell.
Barrett’s deal — which makes him the youngest $100 million player in Knicks history at 22 years old — ends several weeks of trade discussions for Mitchell between New York and Utah, and forces the two organizations, if they choose, to start over talks with significantly different considerations because of the “Poison Pill” provision now in Barrett’s deal.
New York president of basketball operations Leon Rose set a Monday night deadline with Utah to reach an agreement on a trade for Mitchell — or the Knicks would commit to the Barrett extension, sources said.
While the Jazz-Knicks trade talks intensified and the gap on deal points that included Barrett in the package tightened over the weekend and into Monday, there remained a gulf on reaching a trade for Mitchell, sources said. Once the Knicks and Jazz exhausted discussions on Monday night, Rose and Duffy finalized the extension eligible to players out of the 2019 NBA draft class.
Wow, so apparently it really WAS going to be RJ going to Utah in the Mitchell deal had it occurred. Crazy.
Anyhow, this is less than the MAX max, and more than RJ probably “earned,” but whatever, he’s 22, and it’s really just 4/$100 plus $20 million in incentives that if he hits them, this deal will easily be worth it (it will be a discount if he hits those incentives, as we’re talking like All-NBA appearances and stuff like that). It’s not really much of a discount, but it also isn’t a crazy overpay.
Basically, he’s either going to improve or he’s not. If he improves, the money is totally fine. If he doesn’t, then even 4 years/$80 million would have been an overpay, ya know? I think the bet makes sense for the current NBA where you have to often bet on guys before they’re fully formed as players.
Like a lot of Leon Rose’s deals, it’s fine…in a vacuum. Overall, this is a lot of money locked in long term to a team that doesn’t look that good. But I assume more moves are forthcoming (I assume)!