RJ Barrett
(Mark Blinch / AP Photo)

In all likelihood, RJ Barrett is going to end up with the New York Knicks. His latest comparison to James Harden should have fans excited.

The New York Knicks are missing out on Zion Williamson and Ja Morant in the draft. However, they might be able to draft a younger version of James Harden. RJ Barrett has drawn recent comparisons to the MVP candidate.

ESPN analyst Jay Bilas thinks highly of Barrett and believes he is going to develop in a stud at the next level. The Duke alum praised Barrett’s play during his freshman year and offered up the Harden comparison to make Knicks fans salivate.

“He’s legit,’’ Bilas told Marc Berman of the New York Post in a phone interview. “He’s worthy of being the No. 1 pick. He did things this year that hasn’t been done by a freshman. He handled the ball, ran the point, played off the ball. He did everything you can ask of a player. Barrett’s a lot like James Harden. His (outside) shooting is going to improve. He shoots a good ball. His mechanics aren’t broken. He’ll get much better.”

Dropping to No. 3 in the lottery felt like a letdown for fans, but Barrett is one heck of a consolation prize. He was overshadowed by Williamson at Duke, to a certain extent. However, he still stands out as one of the blue-chip prospects from this draft.

“He’s athletic,” Bilas said. “He’s more than crafty. He’s athletic. It’s like saying James Harden is not athletic. He’s absolutely athletic.”

If Barrett lives up to his potential, dropping to third overall in the draft could have been a blessing in disguise.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.