New York Knicks: 2019 NBA Draft prospects to watch in ACC Tournament

Virginia De'Andre Hunter (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
Virginia De'Andre Hunter (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /
5 of 5
Duke RJ Barrett (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Duke RJ Barrett (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

1. RJ Barrett, Duke

Age: 19
Height, Weight: 6-foot-7, 208 pounds
Slash Line: .458/.315/.660
Season Averages: 23.4 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 4.2 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.4 BPG, 2.0 3PM

The most talked about ACC player not named Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett entered the college season as the top player, until fans and pundits alike watched his otherworldly teammate soar to video game-like levels.

Still, Barrett is a fascinating prospect and the potential second or third pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

The Canadian freshman’s size and 6-foot-10 wingspan offer immediate defensive potential. He’ll stand above other players in the middle of NBA lineups, with the confidence to cover defensively and attack at the other end. That should not make his 18.9 attempts per game, even with Williamson, surprising.

Barrett can score 20 points per game in the NBA and probably will take enough shots to make that happen — perhaps as soon as his rookie season. That’s due to this alpha playing style, with controlling the ball at a 32.2 Usage rate, which is 4.1 percent above Williamson.

It does not paint the most efficient profile, especially as Barrett struggles from behind the arc and meanders at the free throw line. That’s an underlying issue entering the draft, as he likely takes a non-primary role on most teams he’d join in the top five.

As Williamson’s status for the ACC Tournament remains unconfirmed, Barrett will continue to have the spotlight on him. Duke has lost two of its last four games, so the pressure is on to lead this team if the absence continues.

Next. 25 greatest players in NYK history. dark

With the New York Knicks, Barrett can assume an alpha role, pending they don’t sign a marquee free agent this summer. Either way, he’s easily in play for them as a top-five pick, pending unforeseen events.