NBA

RJ Barrett finalizes extension with New York Knicks, complicating pursuit of Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell

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New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett is finalizing a four-year rookie extension that could be worth up to $120 million, his agent Bill Duffy of BDA Sports and WME Sports told ESPN on Monday, complicating the franchise’s trade pursuit. off-season Utah Jazz All-Star. Donovan Mitchell.

Barrett’s deal — which makes him the youngest $100 million player in Knicks history at 22 — ends weeks of trade talks for Mitchell between New York and Utah, and forces the two organizations, if they choose, to restart talks with vastly different considerations because of the “poison pill” provision currently in Barrett’s agreement.

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New York basketball operations president Leon Rose set a deadline Monday night with Utah to reach an agreement on a trade for Mitchell or the Knicks would commit to Barrett’s extension, a report said. indicated sources.

As Jazz-Knicks trade talks intensified and the gap over the points of agreement that included Barrett in the package narrowed over the weekend and through Monday, there remained a chasm to reach. in a trade for Mitchell, sources said. After the Knicks and Jazz exhausted talks Monday night, Rose and Duffy finalized the eligible extension to players outside of the 2019 NBA Draft class.

Barrett’s deal ends a remarkable 23-year drought for the Knicks: He’s the first franchise pick to accept a multi-year contract extension after his rookie contract since Charlie Ward in 1999, according to ESPN Stats & Research. Information.

Barrett averaged 20 points, 5.8 rebounds and three assists for the Knicks a season ago. He was No. 3 overall in the 2019 draft on Duke, behind Zion Williamson of New Orleans and Ja Morant of Memphis.

Barrett is one of five players in NBA history to have 3,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 200 3-pointers before his 22nd birthday, joining Kobe Bryant, Luka Doncic, Kevin Durant and LeBron James.

The Knicks included Barrett in Mitchell’s trade proposals, sources said, which is why the process to complete the extension took several additional weeks. Barrett was a staple in several different trade variations being discussed, but hurdles remained Monday regarding the total of unprotected first-round picks in the deal and the inclusion of Knicks guard Quentin Grimes, sources said.

Nonetheless, the Jazz valued Barrett greatly as part of any Mitchell deal with New York, and a deal without him would force the Knicks to give up far more draft assets than they’ve shown a willingness to, have said. sources said.

Once the Knicks committed to extending Barrett, management resigned themselves to the fact that there is a much harder path to an offseason deal to acquire Mitchell. Still, neither Utah nor New York are ruling out resuming talks before training camps begin in late September, sources said.

The parties have been discussing a swap on and off since early July. Of the 179 players in NBA history who have benefited from the poison pill, only one – Devin Harris in 2008 – has been moved.

For trading purposes, the poison pill is calculated with a formula that would put the Knicks’ outgoing salary for a Barrett trade at $10.9 million, but would require the incoming salary for a team acquiring it to be $26.2 millions of dollars. The restriction will be lifted on July 1.

For Barrett to be included in a trade with the Jazz, the Knicks would have to find a third team with a salary cap to redirect Evan Fournier’s $37 million contract.

The Jazz aren’t seriously committed elsewhere to a deal with Mitchell now, sources said, making the possibility he could still be on the roster for the start of training camp real.

The Jazz have pledged to begin a rebuild after trading All-Star center Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves for five first-round picks in July. Mitchell, 25, is a three-time All-Star and New York native who would instantly become the franchise’s best player.

ESPN Front-Office Insider Bobby Marks contributed to this report.

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