New York Knicks: 2019 NBA Mock Draft, Sweet 16 edition

(Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /
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Duke RJ Barrett (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

player. 156. . G/F. Duke. RJ Barrett. 3

Age: 19
Height, Weight: 6-foot-7, 208 pounds
Slash Line: .457/.313/.662
Season Averages: 22.8 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 4.1 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.4 BPG, 1.9 3PM

RJ Barrett opened the season as the 2019 draft’s top prospect. Then Zion Williamson stepped onto the court, and that ended. However, Duke’s second star still sits among this class’s main attractions and should become a top-five pick in June.

Barrett’s first two NCAA Tournament games were standout performances, including a 26-point, 14-rebound effort over North Dakota State. It showcased his skills as someone who could improve the Cleveland Cavaliers as the third overall pick of the draft.

Without Kyrie Irving for two years and life after LeBron James, the Cavs expectedly fell to the Eastern Conference’s bottom. Only the New York Knicks have exceeded them with a worse record.

This freshman star can bring Cleveland to another level, as Irving did upon arrival in 2011. He can become the second piece to the puzzle, joining 2018 standout, Colin Sexton, to create a formidable one-two scoring punch. This maybe pushes them up the ladder a peg or two, especially if the offseason produces other changes, but they still have a road to travel.

The New York Knicks should become a candidate for Barrett, too, depending on where they land in the draft order. He’s an intriguing alternative to Williamson and Morant.