Depending on the lens through which you view their offseason, things didn’t really go as planned for the New York Knicks this summer. They struck out on all the top-tier free agents, namely Kevin Durant, who they had long-targeted but who ultimately signed on with their cross-town rivals in Brooklyn.
But to their credit, they didn’t overspend on secondary options to try and compensate, and they made the logical choice on draft night to select Duke’s R.J. Barrett, who’d had his ups and downs in college but had shown tremendous potential to be part of their young core moving forward.
So far, David Fizadale has been impressed with the 19-year-old rookie from Canada, particularly his versatility as a 6’7 combo guard. He’s been so impressed, in fact, that he’s toying with the idea of letting him log some time at the point this season as they hammer out their lineup configurations.
RJ Barrett will probably get some time as a PG for the Knicks. “I’m going to sprinkle that in here and there,” Fizdale says.
RJ Barrett will probably get some time as a PG for the Knicks. "I'm going to sprinkle that in here and there," Fizdale says.
"I think it adds another layer to how dynamic he can be… He's really poised. He looks really comfortable. The kid likes having the ball in his hands." pic.twitter.com/VT1l0MfmBn
— Mike Vorkunov (@MikeVorkunov) October 15, 2019
There are, of course, other circumstances complicating these matters. The Knicks have something of a logjam in the backcourt with Frank Ntilikina and Dennis Smith Jr. all vying for the starting point guard job. The good news is that each is capable of playing both backcourt positions.
A little healthy competition in figuring out the pecking order can be good for a team, as it would ostensibly raise the level of effort, but it can also muddy the dynamics between hyper-competitive athletes. Fizdale has his job cut out for him in this department as the Knicks look to develop their young talent and work their way back to respectability.