New York Knicks: Top five 2019 NBA Draft prospects after NCAA Tournament

Virginia De'Andre Hunter (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Virginia De'Andre Hunter (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /
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new york knicks
Duke RJ Barrett (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

3. RJ Barrett, Duke

Age: 19
Height, Weight: 6-foot-7, 202 pounds
Slash Line: .454/.308/.665
Season Averages: 22.6 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 4.3 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.4 BPG

RJ Barrett entered the college basketball season as the best prospect. While that changed almost instantly, it did not thwart his case as one of this draft’s top talents.

Even without the larger spotlight, Barrett still averaged 22.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists to fill out the stat sheet. He was ball dominant, and that won’t his NBA chances unless the Cleveland Cavaliers select him in the top five, but there is “alpha” in his game.

For Barrett to be that top, James Harden-esque scorer, he’ll need to clean up his erratic shot selection (1.9 three-pointers on 6.2 attempts) and work on right-handed drives, which became apparent when he consistently and only used the left hand.

Barrett’s ability to slash to the hoop trumps most prospects in this draft class, however. He can drive and score or drive and kick at will and could thrive with better shooters around him.

As seen in the tournament, though, Barrett tries to become that shooter. His long-range jumper just wasn’t there in the 2018-19 season. At 19 years old, it can develop, but he will enter the NBA with that question, among others.

With the New York Knicks locked into a top five pick, Barrett immediately becomes an option. Whether they need another erratic scorer is in question, but there is also the case for “best player available.”