The New York Knicks can potentially get one of the best all-around players in this years draft. Duke’s forward RJ Barrett was once the number one overall player out of high school. Then, the projected number one draft pick before the college season began. Not too shabby to start.
Despite his teammates, Zion Williamson, rise to stardom, Barrett still played at a very high level. Barrett averaged, what seemed like a quite, 22.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 4.3 assists due to Williamson’s superstar highlights.
Barrett was able to quietly put together a vey good college season while living in Williamson’s shadow. He appears to be very poised and composed throughout.
Barrett was able to handle the ball in transition and without. He did not need the ball in his hands consistently make plays. Barrett has nose for he open spots and fills those spots with ease.
Due to his size, and depending on the matchup, Barrett is able to take his defender one-on-one to the hole with a jab step or shot fake. Barrett measures in at 6’7” in height with a 6’10” wingspan. He could fit the Knicks system perfectly with his ability to stretch the floor as well.
His length and wingspan also gives him the ability to be a above average perimeter defender. Barrett would boost the Knicks in that area considering last season their perimeter defense was wildly sub-par.
The Knicks truly lucked on in this scenario. They could have gotten the 5th pick where it seems like the prospects take a drastic decline, to some. Barrett could be the correct player for the Knicks in this case.
In a interview with the Shams Charania, when asked what Barrett needs to improve on, he reply was, “Everything.” That is exactly the mature answer you want to hear from a prospect. No one has mastered the game of basketball. So, being able to admit flaws in your own game is a huge step forward.
According to the Post’s Marc Berman, Barrett mentioned that he would prefer to play for the Knicks or Lakers. Another minor victory.
Barrett could also be coming into this season with a chip on his shoulder. Besides being close with Williamson, it had to be tough playing in his shadow despite publicly wishing his teammate all the best. Barrett shows the maturity ready to take on the NBA, and New York.