RJ Barrett is a former five-star high school recruit. He was rated the top player in the 2018 high school class. He enjoyed a successful stint at Duke before declaring for the NBA Draft. Barrett is slated to be a top three pick and a future star in the NBA. But, where will he land? What is his ceiling?
RJ Barrett: 2019 NBA Draft Profile
Duke University (2018-2019)
Barrett was expected to shine at Duke. As mentioned before, he was the number one recruit. He met all expectations in his Freshman year. In his first game versus Kentucky, Barrett finished with 33 points and shot 50% from the floor. His 33 points were the most scored by a Duke freshman in his debut He went on to have five more 30 point games during the season. One of Barrett’s best game was against North Carolina State. He finished with a triple-double, which was the fourth ever by a Duke player.
Barrett struggled with efficiency during the NCAA Tournament. In Duke’s last three games, he shot around 40 percent. Despite his late-season struggles, Barrett was one of the top players in the nation. He finished the season averaging 22.6 points per game, 7.6 rebounds per game, and 4.3 assists per game. He became a member of first-team All-American and All-ACC first team.
Standing at 6’7, Barrett has the ideal size to play shooting guard. He is very athletic. He’s one of the few players who has a great feel for the game. Barrett is very capable of creating his own shots and can score in various ways. He is a great open floor player and finisher at the rim. He is poised despite his youth and has the mentality to become the best player of this draft class. Barrett nearly has the total package.
Barrett’s game doesn’t have many holes. However, the main area he must improve on his overall shooting. For example, during his year at Duke, Barrett shot 66.5 percent from the line. As a shooting guard, that percentage is too low. Also, he only shot 30.8 percent from three-point range, which is an issue in today’s NBA climate. Barrett is still working on his shooting. He has improved but still has a long way to go.
Barrett’s game resembles San Antonio Spurs star DeMar DeRozan. DeRozan only stayed for one year in college. At USC, DeRozan wasn’t as big as Barrett was, but was a talented player. DeRozan can score in various ways. He is 6’7 like Barrett. One downside to DeRozan’s game earlier in his career was shooting. In five of his nine seasons with the Toronto Raptors, he finished under 45 percent. Also, DeRozan struggles mightily from three-point range. He has improved over his last few seasons, especially this past season. DeRozan finished at 48.1 percent shooting.
Barrett is almost guaranteed to be selected as the third overall pick. The New York Knicks hold that pick. He is very interested in playing for them. However, a couple of stories have emerged recently. One story is that the Knicks and the Atlanta Hawks were discussing a trade in which will move the Hawks into that third spot. Also, the Memphis Grizzlies invited Barrett to work out for them. Barrett declined the offer, still eyeing New York City as his destination. As of right now, his stock remains the same. He has a chance of becoming the next star in the NBA.
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