Knicks fans expressed their approval of their team drafting RJ Barrett on Thursday night at Barclays Center. Even that kid that cried about the Knicks recent draft picks in Kristaps Porzingis and Kevin Knox couldn’t cry about this pick.
The Knicks could not screw this up. Drafting Barrett was a safe pick for the franchise brain trust that honestly has no idea how to find talent. It was the only choice they could have made.
Don’t mistake this pick as a transcendent player who will turn this franchise around. This wasn’t Zion Williamson and Ja Morant we are talking about in Barrett. The Knicks draft pick will be part of a core nucleus for this franchise to build around.
The Knicks can do better than that. Time to think big here.
They should trade Barrett for Lonzo Ball. With the New Orleans Pelicans being interested in trading up in the draft at No.2 to draft the Knicks’ draft pick, it makes sense for the Knicks to talk to them. It’s hard to believe the Pelicans want Ball, who came in part of the Anthony Davis blockbuster trade recently. This is where the Knicks should take advantage.
Ball can become a transcendent star in the image of Magic Johnson, Steve Nash and Jason Kidd. Barrett does not have that much of a high ceiling, which is why the Knicks turned out to be losers in the first place when they received the No. 3 pick in the NBA draft lottery.
Ball does things no one can teach such as highlight reel passes and spin moves to the hoop. He can make anyone better. He provides a facilitator the Knicks desperately need to run whatever offense David Fizdale runs. Oh, and he plays defense, which is something no one on the Knicks roster can say.
Barrett can score, but the Knicks have way too many scorers. They don’t need another Kevin Knox player.
They need a player who can do the little things, and Ball does that.
Most importantly, they need a point guard. They haven’t had a great one since Walt Frazier and a serviceable one since Charlie Ward and Chris Childs.
Sorry, but Barrett does nothing for me here. Not when he is a ball-stopper. He shoots way too much to the point he can shoot a team out of the game. His defense leaves so much to be desired. Sounds familiar? If it is, it’s because the Knicks saw that with Carmelo Anthony. Do the Knicks want to revisit this again?
What the Knicks need is someone who can provide the intangibles. A player who knows how to lead. A player who makes others better. A player that demands excellence. A player that hates losing. A player who has experienced ups and downs.
They don’t need another guy learning the game. They have plenty of that on the roster as it is.
Ball provides more reasons to watch the Knicks than Barrett based on entertainment factor in itself.
For those that suggest the former Laker accomplished nothing in the league, he is only 21 years old with so much ahead of him. He will evolve and get better. He is learning the tricks of the trade. For him to do the little things and knowing how to make fancy passes, that’s a credit to him. It shows he can play in the NBA.
The Lakers put Ball in a position to fail with a horrible coaching staff, awful players and clueless management. He could use a change of scenery, which is why the Lakers trading him to the Pelicans was the best thing that could happen to him.
If the Knicks get him, it would help him since he is equipped to handle distractions and James Dolan being that he deals with a father that is a nutcase.
Upside on Ball triumphs the safe side of Barrett. The Knicks would be more watchable with the Pelicans point guard next season than with the Duke pick. They provide more buzz with this trade. Hope would actually exists for the first time in eons. This makes everyone forget about what could have been if the Knicks won the lottery.
It should be a no-brainer for the Knicks to execute this trade.