The New York Knicks drafted Duke star RJ Barrett with the third overall pick in the most recent NBA Draft, and while he enters the league with ample abilities and skills, most of his strengths have now become weaknesses.
Refining his existing talents will be the goal in his rookie season with the Knicks, and it will take time for him to develop them to a point where he can once again dominate.
RJ Barrett on what he’s working on this summer – “People ask me, ‘What are you working on?’ And I would say ‘everything’ because now my biggest strength is one of my weaknesses. I’m just working on everything.”#Knicks pic.twitter.com/vjXBLXHFpC
— Knicks Nation (@KnicksNationCP) July 12, 2019
The 19-year-old told media in Vegan on Friday that he’s currently working on “everything” in regards to his finishing ability, which has been his primary strength throughout his career in basketball. Facing off against tougher defenders and more physical players will be an obstacle for him this year, but he’s working diligently to overcome the adversity quickly.
Barrett has struggled during Summer League games at times, starting his first two games with a combined 21.1 field goal percentage, 18 points, and 2-of-13 from three-point land.
However, he’s picked up his production in recent games, the most recent — 21 points, 35.3 field goal percentage, and 10 rebounds. Finishing the night with a double-double, his second consecutive, showed that he is capable of scoring at a high level and being an impact player.
The New York Knicks have a solid group of rookies:
Fellow rookie, Ignas Brazdeikis, has been a force during the Summer League, looking the part of an NBA player. He will likely be a solid rotational player in 2019 while Barrett earns starting playing time. It will be exciting to see both compete and play together as they shape the future of the Knicks’ team.
One observation that’s exciting is Barret’s hustle and tenacity. Grabbing loose boards and pushing the tempo on the offensive side of the ball, he’s full of energy which is a great look as he continues to grow into his role.
Instead of settling, Barrett has been proactive in perfecting his abilities, most of which used to be his strengths.