New York Knicks fans may still be on the fence about the lottery results, but R.J. Barrett is making a good impression, saying the right things..
R.J. Barrett recently sat down the Shams Charania of the Athletic and discussed his basketball origins and future aspirations. Barrett, when asked about what he can improve in his game, responded with, “Everything.”
Sit-down with Duke’s @RjBarrett6: Basketball motivations, touching a basketball for first time in France, improving his shot, Zion and Cam. “Zion taught me how to have more fun. His passion is unmatched. Cam taught me how to be smooth.” pic.twitter.com/JhZGqawHDY
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 16, 2019
It’s early, but the projected number three overall pick is saying the right things. If you’re a New York Knicks fan, despite the initial disappointment in missing out on Zion Williamson, there’s a lot to like with Barrett.
The former Duke guard/forward also discussed his confidence and the daily competition playing with teammates like Williamson and Cam Reddish. Their chemistry on the court was evident, but Barrett doesn’t mince words when asked about who was the best on the squad.
“Who wouldn’t say they’re the best player?” Barrett said. “It’s like you have to have that mentality if you want to be the best. I’m glad I was able to play with guys like that.”
Amongst the anticipation and excitement of getting draft, Barrett seems poised and ready to play with a chip on his shoulder. The Canadian product was initially thought of as the number one prospect in the nation before Williamson became the darling of the NCAA. While they remain close friends, Barrett is sure to bring some of that chip to the NBA, and maybe to the Knicks.
According to Frank Isola of the Athletic, several league executives believe that Barrett’s ceiling is James Harden. He will have to improve his shooting, but his unique combination of size, strength, handle, and ability to finish in traffic certainly stands out. Furthermore, Barrett’s play-making ability is likely to have scouts salivating at the pick and roll possibilities.
The 19-year old has a long way to go. But if the Harden comparison is even somewhat accurate, the Knicks will have to think long and hard about including him in a deal for Anthony Davis.