The Knicks are expected to pursue a roster shakeup this summer, but the Heat’s Jimmy Butler believes there’s already a future star to build around, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. RJ Barrett impressed Butler and his Miami teammates with a 46-point outburst Friday night.
“He had a helluva game, an all-around game at that,” Butler said. “We all know he’s capable of that. I don’t think anybody is surprised or should be surprised. He’s definitely going to be playing in this league for a long time and he’s going to be the face of the Knicks.”
Barrett is averaging a career-high 18.6 points per game in his third NBA season, but Bondy points out that he’s still a streaky shooter and has trouble beating defenders off the dribble. The question for the Knicks, Bondy adds, is what to do about Julius Randle, who needs to handle the ball often to be effective and isn’t an ideal complement to Barrett. Bondy notes that Randle and Barrett have only reached 20 points in the same game seven times all season.
There’s more from New York:
- Executive vice president William Wesley has been lobbying owner James Dolan with a plan to acquire a star and is focused on Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, a source tells Steve Popper of Newsday. There are some New York connections for Mitchell, who is a former client of team president Leon Rose and worked closely with associate head coach Johnnie Bryant when he was in Utah. Popper points out that Mitchell will make $30.4MM next season and won’t hit the open market until 2025 at the earliest, and any deal the Knicks could offer would have to include almost every asset at their disposal.
- Rookie guard Quentin Grimes, who suffered a subluxation of his right patella in Friday’s game, will be re-evaluated in two weeks, the Knicks announced (via Twitter). Grimes was at the team facility today and was “walking around pretty well,” tweets Ian Begley of SNY TV, who adds that Grimes’ response to physical therapy will determine how much time he has to miss. Surgery won’t be necessary, a source in Grimes’ camp tells Ashley Nicole Moss of Sports Illustrated (Twitter link), and he will likely be sidelined two to three weeks because of slight ligament bruising.
- The medical procedure that Derrick Rose underwent on his left ankle Friday won’t affect Kemba Walker‘s decision to sit out the rest of the season, per Marc Berman of The New York Post. Walker made the decision in the belief that he wouldn’t have a spot in the rotation once Rose returned, but a source told Berman that he’s unlikely to change his mind and coach Tom Thibodeau also dismissed the possibility.