Knicks Draft R.J. Barrett
With the third overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, the New York Knicks selected R.J. Barrett out of Duke. This selection comes after a season full of rumors and speculation regarding the Knicks’ future. For the majority of the year, fans anticipated the arrival of Zion Williamson to The Garden. However, after Draft Lottery night, it was announced that the team would instead receive the third overall pick. With Williamson and Ja Morant expected to go first and second, fans expected New York to go with Barrett.
The team didn’t disappoint.
Barrett is a Hidden Gem
Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets reminded everyone that prior to the hype surrounding Zion Williamson, it was R.J. Barrett that was projected to go number one overall. With that, the Knicks picked up a gem here. Barrett is a player that can score at a relatively high rate, dropping 22.6 points per game during his college career. Add that to his 7.6 rebounds and his 4.3 assists, the Knicks have a player who can truly end up being dynamic for this team. In spite of playing a forward in college, Barrett could easily hold down the starting shooting guard position.
Where the young player needs to improve is in his three-point shooting and defense. While shooting 45% from the floor, Barrett only averaged about 30% from deep. Coming into a shooter’s league, he’s going to want to get that number up. Moreover, his offense made a name for him, never really being revered as a great defender. Thus, that is is a place where he can add another wrinkle to his game, which will come with maturity. In spite of this, though, Barrett looks like an NBA ready player who wants to be part of the new era in New York.
From the looks of it, the Knicks won big tonight. Not only did the team pick up a dynamic scorer who is ready to play, but they also picked up someone who may be a hidden gem among his fellow draft mates. The ceiling for Barrett is high and only can determine how far he goes. With the skills he’s coming into this league with that could be very far. Knicks fans should be very excited for what this young player brings to the table.