Surprises and the New York Knicks don't often form a functioning mix or at least one approved by the team's legions of beleaguered supporters.
RJ Barrett is apparently looking to change that now that he's got some assurances at a metropolitan future. The fourth-year man and earner of a contract extension potentially worth $120 million offered a dire warning to anyone doubting the team after a disappointing 37-win season yielded an offseason of change, one that netted another nine-figure contract in the form of Jalen Brunson.
One would assume that Barrett is using the most recent team campaign, one stationed in the midst of team history he set as the youngest New York scorer to average at least 20 points a game. But Barret stated that the capper of one of the Knicks' most lucrative seasons in years ... a five-game, first-round loss to Atlanta after going 41-31 and finishing fourth in the Eastern Conference ... will also play a role.
"There's definitely extra motivation, especially (after) getting to taste what the playoffs were like and falling short there and then to not end up where we wanted to last year, I think this year we're coming in even more experienced, even more hungry," Barrett said during the Knicks "Content Day" in video obtained by SNY. "A lot of guys have something to prove, myself included. I've got everything to prove. We're really coming with that mindset and definitely think we can shock the world."
Despite standing as a new Knicks record-holder, Barrett silently acknowledged that he has to prove his professional worth as a potential headliner. His name was reportedly included in the ultimately futile quest to secure former Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell. Even with Brunson in tow, many don't foresee the Knicks breaking away from the race for the Play-In Tournament afforded to the final four of ten seeds in the Eastern Conference postseason picture. New York finished 11th last season but finished six games behind Charlotte for the last spot.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags
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