Despite going third overall in the draft, NBA GMs don’t see New York Knicks rookie RJ Barrett taking home Rookie of the Year honors.
The New York Knicks are coming into the 2019-20 season with a chip on their shoulder after whiffing in free agency. Not to mention, RJ Barrett could have something to prove to the general managers around the league.
In NBA.com’s annual GM poll, Barrett received no votes in the Rookie of the Year category. Additionally, no GM voted for Barrett to be the best rookie in five years.
To be fair, Zion Williamson took home 68% of the vote in each category. If his preseason play is any indication, Williamson will run away with the Rookie of the Year race no matter how well Barrett plays.
Despite his inefficient shooting, Barrett looks comfortable and confident in preseason play thus far. He can handle the ball well and has a knack for slicing to the basket. The shooting will come with time.
Head coach David Fizdale is showing no hesitation to throw Barrett into the fire. The rookie is averaging 38 minutes per game through the team’s first three preseason games. Fiz will likely scale back on his minutes come the regular season, but the early reps should help acclimate Barrett to the speed of the NBA.
Although Barrett’s lack of recognition from the GMs is notable, the Knicks weren’t completely missing from the expansive polling done by NBA.com.
Despite missing on the big names in free agency, New York finished eighth in voting for the most improved team. Additionally, Julius Randle received at least one vote for player most likely to break out.