With the worst-case state of affairs averted, the Knicks anticipated RJ Barrett to be full throttle in a few month for offseason exercises.
Further assessments on Barrett confirmed the preliminary analysis of a knee sprain as correct after he landed badly on a drive-and-dish to Jericho Sims late within the first half Friday in Washington.
Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau couldn’t rule out additional harm to the ACL on Friday night time, however these issues have since been put to relaxation.
“Just a sprain,’’ Thibodeau mentioned earlier than Sunday’s 105-94 season-closing win over the Raptors. “So that’s the excellent news in a manner.’’
Very excellent news. The Knicks aren’t within the postseason, so he solely missed Sunday’s contest. The workforce will lay low for just a little bit earlier than Thibodeau expects Barrett to be prepared.
“We’re going into active rest, so there’s going to be a three-week period where there’ll be some activity but very light,’’ Thibodeau said. “Everyone is in recovery for the next three weeks. Then we’ll pick up after that.”
Thibodeau mentioned he expects Barrett to be again round then. It’s a sigh of aid as Barrett was coming off a breakout season wherein he averaged 20 factors and confirmed All-Star potential.
“I’m always concerned,’’ Thibodeau said of his feelings that evening. “You never want to see that awkward kind of landing. But then he played. That part was encouraging. The next day there was soreness, but he said he felt OK. That was a good sign.”
Barrett, with out crutches, watched Sunday’s sport from the bench.
“I don’t know the precise specifics,’’ Thibodeau mentioned on whether or not Barrett underwent his MRI examination but. “He was examined by the docs and trainers. What I bought is, it’s a sprain. We’ll simply observe the protocol from the trainers and docs after which when he’s able to go, he’ll go.
“One factor about RJ, no matter it’s he can do, he’ll do. He’ll be in rehab, then he’ll be within the pool, then on a motorbike. RJ is a employee. He’ll do all he can.’’
While Barrett averaged 20.0 factors, it may very well be seen as deceiving due to his low capturing percentages — 40.8 total, 34.3 from 3 and a modest efficient field-goal proportion of 46.6. But the No. 3-overall choose of the 2019 draft confirmed a relentless attacking of the basket that was eye-opening.
Barrett, 21, might be in competition for a significant rookie contract extension in October — even when not the total most of $181 million.
“I thought RJ took a great step this year, took more responsibility covering the best player on the other team and really has elevated his game,” Knicks president Leon Rose mentioned on MSG Network on Sunday relating to a contract extension. “I can’t actually put a ceiling on the place he’ll go. As far because the plan and negotiations, I believe we’ll maintain that personal for now.’’
With the Knicks right down to eight our bodies, Thibodeau mentioned he’d give enjoying time minutes Sunday to new two-way signee, Feron Hunt, who began the season with the G-League Texas Legends. He performed seven minutes, lacking a pair of pictures from the sphere.
Hunt, a defense-first small ahead/energy ahead, has already impressed Thibodeau together with his work ethic.
“High vitality, performed two positions, wonderful defender,’’ Thibodeau mentioned. “His capturing is bettering. Just a multiple-effort man, only a lengthy wing. Top-of-the-line man. I believe he provides to the workforce so we’re enthusiastic about having him.’’
Thibodeau feels he may guard capturing guards.
“I’ve been impressed with simply the best way he works,’’ Thibodeau mentioned. “We’re excited. He’ll be right here all summer time so we’re enthusiastic about that.’’