‣ RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley, both Canadian internationals, were traded from the New York Knicks to the Toronto Raptors.
‣ Barrett expressed excitement about returning to his home city and playing for the team he grew up supporting.
‣ Despite the suddenness of the trade, both players are looking forward to their time with the Raptors and are grateful for the warm welcome they’ve received from the team and city.
RJ Barrett had a message to his Canadian fans during his post-game interview:
“Oh man I’m back home baby, I’m back home so f**k New York and keep supporting the Raptors c’mon!” 👀
— Legon Hoops (@LeqionHoops)
RJ Barrett had a bit of a shock this past weekend. He was all set to play the Pacers in his Knicks uniform, but a quick glance at his phone changed everything. He’d been traded. Initially, he felt a pang of disappointment, but then he realized he was heading back to his hometown, Toronto.
The news seemed surreal to the Canadian international. He confessed that his first reaction was confusion. “What’s going on?” he thought, as he woke up to the news. But then, happiness set in. He’d been a Raptors fan all his life, so putting on that jersey was going to be a dream come true.
But the good news didn’t stop there. Barrett, a native of Ontario, found out that his fellow countryman, Immanuel Quickley, was also joining the Raptors. By Monday, they were already practicing with the team. That same night, they made their debut.
Barrett had a special message for his Canadian fans during his post-game interview. “Oh man, I’m back home baby, I’m back home so f**k New York and keep supporting the Raptors c’mon!” he said, a cheeky grin on his face.
He was ecstatic to be back. “Really, really happy, really excited to be here. I’m thankful and blessed,” he said after his first training session. He felt grateful for this opportunity. Being traded and coming home was a great feeling.
The trade involved the Toronto franchise sending forwards Precious Achiuwa and OG Anunoby, plus guard Malachi Flynn to New York. In exchange, they got the two Canadian stars and a second-round pick for this year’s NBA Draft.
Barrett felt the timing of this change was perfect. He believed his time in New York had helped him establish a routine and understand himself better. He felt ready for this new chapter in Toronto.
Quickley was equally grateful to move alongside Barrett. He appreciated Barrett’s support. “As soon as we got the word [of the trade,] he told me anything I need, to hit him up,” Quickley revealed. He felt lucky to have a friend like Barrett.
However, neither Barrett nor Quickley were sure if they would play against Cleveland this Monday. The news of their trade was still fresh, and they were trying to adjust. They were learning everything on the fly and were unsure of their roles and expectations.
Quickley, like Barrett, found everyone in Toronto incredibly welcoming. Despite the uncertainty, he couldn’t be happier. “It’s been unbelievable, couldn’t ask for anything better,” he said. The city, the culture, and the team camaraderie were all fantastic. It was clear that people cared about each other, and he couldn’t ask for anything better than that.