The Knicks seem to have an RJ Barrett problem.
After reportedly turning down a trade return for Donovan Mitchell that included Barrett, New York signed him to a four-year extension, but in his fourth NBA season, Barrett has struggled badly.
There was an illness thrown in to further complicate things, but after apparently getting over that sickness, Barrett continued to throw up bricks on Friday night, shooting just 6-for-22 from the floor and 1-for-7 from downtown in an overtime loss to Portland in which he played a team-high 44 minutes.
Still, Barrett says he is not concerned with his performance this season, which includes a 40.2 field goal percentage, his worst since his rookie year, and a 32 percent clip from downtown, also his worst since his first year in the league.
“I’m fine,” Barrett said. “Don’t worry about me.”
Many Knicks fans don’t share that sentiment, as Barrett is also putting up some of his worst defensive numbers of the season, and Friday showed Barrett taking some uncontrolled drives to the basket where every point mattered in a 3-point loss at home.
“I mean they was getting everything,” Barrett said of the Blazers, who took 51 foul shot on Friday. “I thought I could get some. You know what I’m saying? Sheesh.”
Barrett didn’t get those foul calls, and didn’t get buckets at an efficient clip, and it is a big problem for the Knicks.
Follow Ryan Chichester on Twitter: @ryanchichester1