RJ Barrett Claims Contribution to Current New York Knicks Before Toronto Trade

‣ RJ Barrett, a Canadian basketball player, expressed his joy and shock at being traded from the New York Knicks to his hometown team, the Toronto Raptors.
‣ Since his transfer, Barrett has been performing well, averaging 21 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3 assists, 0.5 steals and 0.3 blocks in six games for the Raptors.
‣ Barrett feels he left a positive legacy at the Knicks, improving the team during his time there, and is excited to represent the Raptors, a team he has supported since childhood.

Details

RJ Barrett recently sat down for a chat with the press. He was all smiles as he talked about his journey from New York to his hometown, Toronto, and his legacy with the Knicks.

The Canadian was taken aback when he found out he’d been traded out of Manhattan. But, his shock turned into gratitude when he discovered he was heading home to his friends and family.

“I had no clue,” RJ confessed. “I just got the call when it happened. I was like, ‘What is going on?’ I was so confused. I didn’t see it coming. When he (agent Bill Duffy) told me the Raptors, I was like, ‘OK, at least I’m coming home.'”

Born and bred in Toronto, RJ has always been a Raptors fan. Since his trade, the 23-year-old forward has been on a roll, averaging 21 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3 assists, 0.5 steals, and 0.3 blocks in six games for his new club.

“I’ve felt good since game one, personally, offensively,” he said about his first days in Toronto. “I’ve been feeling like I’ve been playing very well. I didn’t really score the ball in a crazy way the first three games, but I’ve been efficient in trying to play the right way and help my teammates. A lot of learning going on, still learning the defensive system, trying to get better at that every day.”

The Knicks drafted RJ with the 3rd overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft from Duke University. Four years later, he ended his career in New York with averages of 18.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0.7 steals, and 0.3 blocks.

“I helped build something in New York,” RJ assured. “When I came there we weren’t good. I left it a lot better than when it started. Definitely bittersweet, but I’m happy for those guys over there. They are happy about the trade they made and I wish nothing but the best for them. I grew up as a player and a person over there in New York. Those 4½ years, I will never forget.”

In September 2022, Barrett signed a four-year, $120 million rookie scale extension with the Manhattan franchise. Now, he’s pocketing $23.9 million this campaign.

The Canadian star admitted that it was always his dream to return home and represent the Raptors franchise. “My initial reaction was like, ‘what’s going on?’ I just woke up to it,” Barrett shared with a smile. “I was immediately happy. I grew up a Raptors fan all my life. So to come here and put this jersey on, it’s going to be great.”

The Ontario native had another reason to be thrilled. His compatriot Immanuel Quickley was also heading to play for the Raptors. “Really, really happy, really excited to be here. I’m thankful and blessed,” RJ said after his first training session. “There’s so many things I want to say, but it just sums up to being thankful to God for this opportunity. To be traded but then come here, come home, it’s a great feeling.”

The Toronto franchise traded forwards Precious Achiuwa and OG Anunoby, plus guard Malachi Flynn to New York for the two Canadian stars. The Raptors also received a second-round pick for this year’s NBA Draft.

James Shotwell
James Shotwell
James, a dedicated writer for BasketballHour, holds a degree in English and Creative Writing. A genuine sports enthusiast and skilled betting advice provider, he writes engaging articles and valuable winning strategies for sports.

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