Walt Frazier thinks the pressure is on for Kevin Knox, RJ Barrett to compete for Knicks starting spots
New York Knicks legend Walt Frazier has warned incoming second-year forward Kevin Knox and rookie RJ Barrett that they are not guaranteed to start for the team despite being high lottery selections.
Knox was selected ninth overall in the 2018 NBA Draft and, in fact, started in 57 games for the Knicks in the 2018-19 season. Meanwhile, Barrett was the third overall pick of this year’s annual rookie selection.
While it’s common for high lottery picks to immediately start for their respective teams, Frazier doesn’t want the two Knicks youngsters to be overconfident. As Frazier noted, New York’s veteran additions this offseason will put the pressure on both Knox and Barrett to fight for a starting spot and earn their minutes.
“It will put pressure on these young guys,” Frazier said on the addition of veteran free agents, per Marc Berman of the New York Post. “You can’t take it for granted as high draft choices, they are going to start.”
The Knicks added the likes of Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson, Marcus Morris, Wayne Ellington and Reggie Bullock this offseason, giving Knox and Barrett plenty of competition for the forward positions. With that said, the two will have to step up big time if they want to outshine the veterans on the team.
Knox averaged 12.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game in his first season with the Knicks. On the other hand, in his lone season at Duke, Barrett put up 22.6 points, 7.6 boards and 4.3 dimes in 38 appearances.