RJ Barrett is the next great hope for the New York Knicks and the teenage star is looking to start his career off on the right foot.
One of Barrett’s goals will be to beat out the rest of the 2019 NBA Draft class. The teenage phenom already has his sights set on winning Rookie of the Year.
“(Rookie of the Year) is definitely important. It’s something I’ve been thinking about since I was a kid,” he said via Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. “So I thought the only way to do that is to work hard.”
As a freshman at Duke, Barrett averaged 22.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game.
The 19-year-old is currently third in betting odds (+550) for Rookie of the Year according to Odds Shark. Ja Morant (+300) of the Memphis Grizzlies and Zion Williamson (-130) of the New Orleans Pelicans.
Williamson and Barrett were teammates at Duke for legendary head coach Mike Krzyzewski. Barrett credits part of his development to his time under Krzyzewski at Duke.
“I see myself as a playmaker. That’s something Coach K preached to me a lot. Just be a basketball player,” Barrett said. “That’s why we had no positions.”
To be clear, Barrett’s bread-and-butter will be his scoring, but his ability to be a secondary playmaker will go a long way towards helping him become a transcendent star.