Duke basketball star gets massive payday, makes franchise history

Duke basketball star RJ Barrett (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Duke basketball star RJ Barrett (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

A Duke basketball superstar is going to need a bigger wallet this season.

RJ Barrett might need to make a trip down to Durham and take the Duke basketball coaches out dinner after his most recent payday.

Barrett inked a four-year rookie extension with the New York Knicks late Monday night that could be worth up to $120 million, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The contract is not a maximum extension like Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett’s teammate at Duke, received from the New Orleans Pelicans this offseason but the No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft becomes the first Knicks first draft pick to agree to a multi-year contract extension after his rookie deal since Charlie Ward in 1999.

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RJ Barrett has improved dramatically in each of his first three seasons in the NBA, averaging 20.0 points per game last year, while always being available for his team after logging 198 games in his career.

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

Duke basketball star’s contract complicates major trade talks

Adrian Wojnarowski reported at the time of the extension that the deal makes things much more complicated for the New York Knicks’ attempt to trade for Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell.

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The Knicks have been the franchise linked most to the former Louisville Cardinal but New York President Leon Rose set a deadline on Monday night for the team to acquire Mitchell or else the Barrett extension would be agreed upon.

RJ Barrett has been involved in talks surrounding the Mitchell trade but now it becomes even more challenging to involve the Blue Devil in the trade due to the NBA’s “poison pill” which focuses on recently signed extensions of rookies that could be traded before the contract begins.

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