RJ Barrett believes he can be an All-Star, lead Knicks back to playoffs next season

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RJ Barrett slight flex on Pacers white uniform good shot
RJ Barrett slight flex on Pacers white uniform good shot

This past season was certainly one to forget for the Knicks, but there was one positive that came out of it: RJ Barrett took the next step.

In his third NBA season, the 21-year-old averaged a career-high 20.0 points, while matching his per game average on rebounds and assists from last season (5.8 and 3.0, respectively).

But as the third overall pick, he feels there is some untapped potential, and he wants to become a dominant scorer.

"I think right now, I'm trying to work on - what I saw in this year was just really my pullups and having a consistent jumper," Barrett said on The Old Man and the Three podcast with JJ Redick and Tommy Alter. "I get to the rim so much, I feel like I can get to the rim at any time. If I can mix in those pullups, if I can consistently make that three, being a complete three-level scorer, that's hard to stop. You're gonna score at any point."

Barrett took a step back in field goal percentages - after shooting 44.1 percent from the floor, and 40.1 percent from three, those dropped down to 40.8 and 34.2 percent.

"If I can add some of the midrange to my game, some of the footwork," said Barrett, "it's unstoppable."

If Barrett can become the scorer he wants to be, more accolades can come his way.

"Next year, my goal, I feel like I can be an All-Star, or be in the conversation, which is obviously gonna come with winning, but I feel like I have the ability to. I always have," he added.

Something else that will come with winning is another playoff spot - the Knicks missed out this season after finishing as the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference in 2020-21.

One can argue the the Knicks lacked leadership this year, especially with how Julius Randle carried himself throughout the season, but Barrett wants to fill that void.

"My kinda next step for me is I want to be the leader. I always say that I want to be the leader on the team, and I want to help any way I can and get the team back into the playoffs, because winning is what's obviously most important."