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Knicks guard RJ Barrett in Kobe Bryant, LeBron James company just two years into NBA career

Knicks, RJ Barrett, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant

The New York Knicks may have bowed out in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, but there is a lot of reason to be optimistic about the future of the franchise.

While Julius Randle is the star of the show, RJ Barrett also took massive strides in Year 2. He saw his averages across the board all improve from his rookie campaign while helping the Knicks secure the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference.

In the process, he has entered some very exclusive company. The former Duke standout is just one of eight players ever to collect more than 2,000 points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists before their 21st birthday. Alongside him? LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Luka Doncic and Carmelo Anthony, among others.

Barrett improved his 3-point shooting immensely in 2020-21 for the Knicks, draining 40.2 percent of his attempts compared to just 32 percent last season. As you can see by those numbers as well, the Canadian is truly an all-around player who impacts the game in a number of ways. Barrett also takes pride in being a good defender, thanks in large part to Tom Thibodeau’s arrival in New York.

RJ Barrett is just getting started, and considering he’s already in the same breath as the names above for such a terrific feat before the legal drinking age in the US, it’s crystal clear the future is very bright for the Knicks youngster.