The New York Knicks didn’t surprise anyone by taking RJ Barrett with the third overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
The Toronto native went No. 3 overall after the New Orleans Pelicans took the larger-than-life Zion Williamson and the Memphis Grizzlies selected a rising star, Ja Morant.
Barrett appears to be a perfect fit for New York. Despite being overshadowed slightly by Zion at Duke University, he was a consensus first-team All-American as a freshman. He averaged 22.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game.
Once the draft order was set, he made it clear that he was hoping for the Knicks to call his name in the draft. He even stopped working out for teams after he met and worked out with the Knicks.
The 19-year-old looks poised to take center stage in Madison Square Garden and help the Knicks build a sustainable contender for the first time in decades. He has the physical tools to succeed at the next level and he appears willing to accept the monumental challenge that he’s facing.
New York isn’t an easy place to play when there are high expectations, but Barrett doesn’t look like someone who is going to back down
The Knicks have the No. 55 pick in the second round. They cashed in on Mitchell Robinson in the second round in 2018 and they’re hoping that lightning strikes twice.
After Thursday, the Knicks will turn their attention towards attracting stars in free agency. The Knicks have enough salary cap space to sign two max free agents.
Sidenote: No crying Knicks fan this year!