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  1. #1
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    15 part series - Analyzing Present-Future of each Knick- Mark Hale, Marc Berman

    Part I of a 15-part series analyzing the present and future of each member of the Knicks’ 15-man roster. Presented in alphabetical order.






    1. RJ Barrett:


    The enduring moment of RJ Barrett’s rookie season came outside a Knicks uniform — mid-February in Chicago. It was the final minutes of the Rising Stars Challenge and he had donned the “World” jersey.

    The no-defense event had become even more comical in the final minutes — almost resembling a dunk contest. But there was the 6-foot-7 Barrett, powering to the basket relentlessly for no-frills layups. Earlier in the game, Barrett had angered his Duke buddy, Zion Williamson, by wrapping him up so he couldn’t complete an alley-oop dunk.

    “Guess it’s an All-Star Game, but I really only know how to play one way,’’ said Barrett, who racked up 27 points, of the exhibition.

    As the third pick of the 2019 draft, Barrett’s first season was a mixed bag — if indeed it is over. The NBA suspended the season indefinitely on March 11 and hope the regular season resumes are only growing dimmer.

    Barrett is back at his home in Orlando, Fla., waiting and self-isolating. In his final game, he finished off with a terrifically efficient 26-point outing in Atlanta on 14 shots.

    Barrett hit a big 3-pointer in overtime in the 136-131 win. Most notably, he was 6 of 6 from the free-throw line — a performance overshadowed by the announcement of the season’s suspension due to the coronavirus.

    Despite averaging 14.3 points and 5.2 rebounds, Barrett’s final efficiency numbers will look subpar — 40.2 percent shooting, 32 percent from 3 and 61.4 percent from the free-throw line. But those percentages rose across the last three weeks.

    His top attributes — an instinctive knack to use his body to wiggle to the basket, a consistently high motor and a serious-minded work ethic — have several NBA personnel people not giving up on Barrett as a potential All-Star. Not at age 19.


    “RJ Barrett is not going to fail,’’ one talent evaluator/former NBA head coach told The Post. “He’s got too much size, too much ability shooting, driving. His perimeter shooting and free-throw shooting — that will get better with time. We all know that. That’s what happens with NBA players.’’

    It’s also his intangibles that have the Knicks brass excited about having a bedrock piece moving forward. Knicks general manager Scott Perry, whose own future is in doubt, insisted on the Barrett pick when some colleague wanted to trade down.

    “He strikes me as guy not afraid to work and has a great pedigree,’’ the NBA personnel person said. “He’s going to a good player. Is he going to be an All-Star, Hall-of-Fame type player? Probably not. But the potential is there for a couple of All-Star games, like a Khris Middleton.’’

    Submit questions on your favorite New York teams to be answered in an upcoming mailbag

    If the regular season is done, Barrett’s next move could have been playing for Team Canada in the Olympic Qualifier scheduled to be hosted by his country in Vancouver, British Columbia on June 23-28. However, the Canadian Olympic Committee said Sunday night it won’t be sending athletes to the Tokyo Games scheduled for July and August unless they’re postponed by a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Before last June’s draft, Josh Pastner, the Georgia Tech coach, thought Barrett had the tools to be a better pro than Zion Williamson. While that prediction looks off, Pastner said he’s not concerned.

    “I think RJ Barrett had a good rookie season to this point,’’ Pastner said. “He will only get better with time. When you have the ability to naturally score like he does, that will only get better. RJ knows how to put the ball in the basket.”

    Nobody is doubting Barrett will be diligent in working on his 3-point and free-throw shooting with his longtime trainer, Drew Hanlen.

    “You want someone who loves the game and would play for free,’’ the talent evaluator said. “That strikes me as RJ.’’

  2. #2
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    just wait til he gets to Frank...lol

  3. #3
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    RJ is a keeper, what his ceiling is debatable, but he's definitely a long term piece.

  4. #4
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    RJ Barrett's effectiveness is hampered because he plays alongside Julius Randle, a black hole of empty fantasy stats. Barrett and Randle's spacing is terrible.

    Barrett is at his best when he has the spacing to create. GM Scott "Tyler" Perry misunderstood his ability to create as "point guard potential." No, no, NO! He's not a guard. This is why he verbalized, enjoying to play alongside Frank Ntilikina who knows his role.

    When Randle is gone, you're going to see RJ Barrett's full potential reached.

    RJ Barrett is not a franchise changing draft pick. He's a very significant piece as high at the #2 cog.

  5. #5
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    Ignas Brazdeikis:





    Part II of a series analyzing the New York Knicks.

    The G-League’s regular season was to end Friday and Knicks rookie small forward Ignas Brazdeikis would have gotten his chance, according to sources.

    With the Westchester Knicks out of the playoffs, April games were expected to be a showcase for the 21-year-old Canadian to show why the Knicks moved up in the second round from 55 to 47 to grab him.

    “That was the plan — join the team, get an opportunity,’’ an NBA source told The Post. “The Knicks were happy with his development. He kept a real positive mentality, kept his head down and was excited about the opportunity.’’

    The coronavirus pandemic, which forced the NBA to suspend its season, ruined that opportunity.

    Brazdeikis, the former Michigan star, is home in Toronto, working out at a private gym. He’s waiting to find out if his rookie season is done at just nine NBA games played — all brief, garbage-time opportunities.

    Neither David Fizdale nor Mike Miller gave him a chance as he came in with a reputation as a so-so defender. Brazdeikis averaged 1.9 points in six minutes, shooting 27 percent overall — 1 of 9 from the 3-point line.
    Enlarge ImageIgnas BrazdeikisIgnas BrazdeikisNBAE via Getty Images
    Even in preseason, the 6-foot-7 southpaw, despite a sharp summer league in which he showed himself to be a slasher and 3-point shooter, got shut out of minutes.

    “It was very curious,’’ one NBA personnel man said. “I guess everyone was trying to save their jobs.’’

    The good news is the Knicks saw significant improvement in Brazdeikis while with Westchester. Initially he put up good numbers but inefficient ones. That changed across the final few weeks.

    In 21 G-League games, the lefty native Lithuanian averaged 21 points on 49.9 percent shooting — 34.4 percent from 3. His defense has been the issue.



    “He’s Lithuanian where everything is slanted to offense and then Team ‘D’,” one European scout said.

    Joe Raso, a Toronto-based regional scout for multiple teams and a longtime member of Team Canada’s program, sees Brazdeikis as a legitimate NBA scorer.

    “When I first saw Ignas play as a youngster at 12, he was a playmaker with size and very high IQ,” Raso told The Post. “As he got older, his offense improved and he flourished in roles of being ‘The Man’ in Michigan and in the G-League.

    “Many see him as an NBA role player at best. But I believe he has tools to become a major offensive contributor. His job now is to convince his NBA bosses. He’s a multifaceted, physical scorer with size. His IQ makes him a candidate as a player you can play through a offense. He now needs to prove he can defend a few positions. He loves the game. I hope the Knicks stick with him.”

    Brazdeikis signed a three-year deal with a team option after the second season, so he should be back next season at the moderate number of $1.5 million. That doesn’t include the $1 million general manager Scott Perry gave Sacramento to swap picks.

    “He’s got that size and toughness, he can play different positions at times,’’ his former Michigan coach John Beilein said in January before being fired in Cleveland. “He’s a rugged kid. You can play two small forwards and he can guard a lot of the 4–men in this league. Eventually he’s going to be a player.”

    New team president Leon Rose may have to wait until summer league to scout Brazdeikis — even if it is played in the fall.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by nycericanguy View Post
    just wait til he gets to Frank...lol
    I’ll sum it up- he’s really long, good on D, and terrible on O


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    Quote Originally Posted by Raps08-09 Champ View Post
    My dick is named 'Ewing'.

  7. #7
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    15 part series lol, will Frank make each series with Rican around, seriously never seen this before ever lol

  8. #8
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    how great would it be if Iggy came back and killed it

  9. #9
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    Not sure why Berman did his follow up with a guy who has played less minutes than Jerome James. I loved the NY Post title "Major Offensive Threat." Ignas Brazdeikis just doesn't have enough playing time to warrant any attention. He could be Luke Kornet 2021.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by still a fan View Post
    how great would it be if Iggy came back and killed it
    I'm not sure why anyone would doubt Iggy at this point. They all use the same excuse "we haven't seen him vs NBA talent yet" but are quick to tout a college kid. Knicks will absolutely blow it if Iggy doesn't get 20 minutes a game next yr.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bivory View Post
    I'm not sure why anyone would doubt Iggy at this point. They all use the same excuse "we haven't seen him vs NBA talent yet" but are quick to tout a college kid. Knicks will absolutely blow it if Iggy doesn't get 20 minutes a game next yr.
    Bc he’s played about 6 mins of NBA basketball is a valid. I hope he is good but idk


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    Quote Originally Posted by Raps08-09 Champ View Post
    My dick is named 'Ewing'.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewing View Post
    Bc he’s played about 6 mins of NBA basketball is a valid. I hope he is good but idk


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    And how many minutes did every player in the draft play?

  13. #13
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    whether or not Iggy can play the fact that he never got a shot speaks volumes to our priorities.

    The NBA did us a favor sparing us another 20 games of the Payton & Randle show.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by nycericanguy View Post
    whether or not Iggy can play the fact that he never got a shot speaks volumes to our priorities.

    The NBA did us a favor sparing us another 20 games of the Payton & Randle show.
    But Dolan still believes we are going to playoffs lol

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  15. #15
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    Reggie Bullock:


    Part III in a series analyzing the New York Knicks.

    Knicks swingman Reggie Bullock has faced a heap of turbulence since last summer.

    First, Bullock learned he needed spinal fusion surgery in July after signing with the Knicks as a free agent. The neck procedure cost him millions on his contract and the season’s first 2 ½ months.

    During his rehab in October, his sister, Keiosha Moore, was murdered in Baltimore. It was the second sister he had lost to Baltimore’s rough-and-tumble streets in five years.

    Now Bullock can’t even get back to Baltimore during the season’s indefinite suspension because of coronavirus.

    After signing with the Knicks, Bullock took a home in New Rochelle — one of the nation’s first coronavirus hot spots. When the Knicks returned from Atlanta March 12, Bullock wasn’t allowed out. He was stuck with his girlfriend in a New Rochelle hotel, spending his 29th birthday there this week.

    The only thing that went well for Bullock was his time on the court. The 6-foot-6 North Carolina product made his Knicks debut Jan. 1 without a training camp or preseason game, but with rainbow-dyed hair.

    Bullock wore the rainbows, an LGBT symbol, to honor his transgender sister, 26-year-old Mia Henderson, who was stabbed to death in a West Baltimore alley in 2014. Bullock has become among the most diligent LGBT supporters in pro sports.

    Interim coach Mike Miller fell in love with Bullock’s basketball IQ, dogged defense and reliable 3-point shot. He was a mainstay in the rotation — even as fans/media begged for Miller to give more minutes to the young players such as Kevin Knox.

    Though his 3-point shooting waned in the final three weeks, Bullock’s defense never did. Miller often placed him against the opponent’s top wing scorer.

    With his contract reworked after the surgery, Bullock’s second year is a team option at $4.2 million.

    Even if waived at the June 28 trigger date, Bullock will still count on the cap for a $1 million guarantee.

    With a plethora of open roster spots next season because of their glut of one-year free-agent signings, Bullock’s modest option year is likely to be picked up, according to an NBA source.


    Bullock, whose 3-point shooting fell to 33.3 percent because of a late-season swoon, was a strong influence on some of the younger players, including rookie RJ Barrett. Bullock, who averaged 8.1 points, was in Barrett’s ear about picking up his defense.

    Bullock thrives in a spaced-out offense — which the Knicks want to become. The franchise is desperate for long-range shooters and solid veteran influences next season.

    “He’s still a streak shooter and isn’t much of a passer or handler,’’ one NBA scout said. “We’re talking about an average player.’’

    Nevertheless, Bullock weaved an uplifting journey to make it back this season after another sibling’s murder.

    Nobody knew what to expect after he wrote on social media on Oct. 31: “I never felt so broken in my life. My 2 queens. S–t won’t ever be the same. I failed as a brother to protect you from the harm of these streets. I failed twice to be the true brothers’ keeper.’’

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