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Getting ready to enter the final year of his rookie contract ahead of the start of the 2022-23 season, RJ Barrett has received some long-term security from the New York Knicks.

Late on Monday night, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report that the Knicks and Barrett are finalizing a four-year rookie extension that could wind up paying the former first-round pick $120 million in total.

While it is not a surprise to see the Knicks want to keep Barrett, as he is one of the faces of the franchise alongside All-Star Julius Randle and recently signed Jalen Brunson, it is shocking to see New York come to terms on a new contract extension with their young star given the ongoing trade talks they have held with the Utah Jazz surrounding All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell.

For weeks now, the Knicks and Jazz have been engaged in trade conversations and now with the Knicks best, young asset being taken out of the equation in these negotiations, more unknowns have been thrown into the mix in regards to Mitchell possibly being on the move ahead of the start of the 2022-23 season.

According to Wojnarowski, Knicks team president Leon Rose set Monday night (August 29) as a deadline with Utah to reach a deal revolving around Mitchell. With no deal being agreed upon, the Knicks decided to commit to this new extension with RJ Barrett.

Barrett, 22, now becomes the youngest player in franchise history to receive $100 million or more and this extension with the former 3rd overall pick in 2019 ends a 23-year drought in which the Knicks have failed to agree to a contract extension with a player coming off of a rookie contract.

Every season he has been in the league, Barrett has shown massive improvements and the 2021-22 season was a career-year for him. Playing in 70 total games last season, RJ Barrett ended up averaging 20.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists and shot 40.8% from the floor, 34.2% from three-point range.

A multidimensional scorer who is very confident in attacking teams with his left hand, Barrett is on the doorstep to becoming an All-Star-like player in New York, something the franchise definitely needs and something they are betting on now with this new massive contract extension.

According to ESPN, Barrett is one of only five players in NBA history to have at least 3,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and make 200 three-pointers before his 22nd birthday, joining the likes of Kobe Bryant, Luka Doncic, Kevin Durant and LeBron James.

While it is still possible that RJ Barrett could be included in a trade for All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell, it is highly unlikely due to his poison pill provision. While the Knicks would be hypothetically sending out his $10.9 million 2022-23 salary, a team taking on Barrett’s contract would need to have upwards in $26 million in space either by trading away other contracts or having cap space available to take on Barrett and his contract.

All indications, especially after this extension, is that the Knicks will be keeping RJ Barrett, which leads many to question Julius Randle’s longevity in New York.

Having the potential to continue growing into an All-Star talent and still being just 22-years-old, RJ Barrett looks to be the face of the New York Knicks for many years to come.