Why the Knicks could win a title this season: 3. RJ Barrett
The Knicks drafted RJ Barrett with the third overall pick in 2019 expecting him to be a future star and so far he has not lived up. If the Knicks want to win a championship they're going to need Barrett to play better.
Last season Barrett averaged 19.6 points, 5 rebounds and 2.8 assists while shooting 43.4 percent from the field, 31 percent from 3, and 74 percent from the free throw line. He was very inconsistent and there were times it looked like he could score from anywhere and times he couldn't throw a rock into the ocean.
The Knicks should be optimistic about Barrett going into next year because of his play in the playoffs. He averaged 19.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists on 43/38/77 shooting splits and was the Knicks' second-best player. Where he performed the best was the Heat series where he averaged 20.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists on 43/38/78 shooting splits.
Barrett's performance against the Heat and after a very solid performance in the FIBA World Cup should be a sign of things to come. Over the last stretch of games he has played, he has been much more efficient and effective.
If Barrett is able to get his efficency up from last season where he averages similar numbers but has much better shooting he becomes a very good third option. If you look at some of the recent championship winners, all of them have had good to great third options.
If the Knicks have any hope of winning a title next season, RJ Barrett needs to have by far the best season of his career.