The 2019 NBA Draft won’t have much suspense at the top. The top three picks are reportedly set, including RJ Barrett to the New York Knicks.
Rest easy New York. RJ Barrett, the presumptive No. 3 prospect in this year’s draft, is heading to the New York Knicks according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Charania also reported that the New Orleans Pelicans are set on Zion Williamson with the first pick (no duh) and the Memphis Grizzlies are going to take Ja Morant.
In other words, the top three picks are already set in stone. Ironically enough, the Pelicans are on the clock with the No. 4 selection that they recently acquired from the Los Angeles Lakers in the Anthony Davis blockbuster trade.
No one should be surprised by this revelation. For months, the majority of draft experts have placed Williamson, Morant, and Barrett above the rest of the prospects. That’s part of the reason why the Knicks could live with dropping to the No. 3 overall pick.
The only possible way something changes here is if a team swoops in at the last minute and makes a Godfather offer to the Knicks or Grizzlies.
This is viewed as a historically weak draft and even dropping to No. 4 could have been a serious setback for the Knicks. With the uncertainty of free agency, drafting Barrett will give Knicks fans something to cheer about this summer.
Even if New York happens to strike out on the likes of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, among others, they’ll have a young core to build around. They can punt on handing out any long-term contracts this summer and let Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, Kevin Knox, and the rest of the young unit gain valuable experience.
A development year isn’t exactly what the Knicks were hoping for. But with Barrett as the centerpiece, this is far from the worst-case scenario for the Knickerbockers.