New York Knicks: Top 2019 NBA Draft target at each position as of April 19

Murray State Ja Morant (Photo by Ben Solomon/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
Murray State Ja Morant (Photo by Ben Solomon/NCAA Photos via Getty Images) /
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new york knicks
Duke RJ Barrett (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

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 was this class’s top player entering the collegiate season. Then pundits saw everyone play, and it changed the landscape of June’s draft process. It does not disparage the Canadian guard as a talent, but he is a step or two behind the top overall spot.

There are strengths to Barrett’s game. His slashing ability to the hoop is among this draft’s best, and he can finish at the rim like few others. At the next level, this driving talent will open the offense he plays on and support those 4.3 assists per game that racked up as a freshman at Duke.

Barrett’s transition game is a plus, as well. Opponents will struggle to keep up with him.

However, the struggles in the 6-foot-7 player’s game seemed more apparent than his 22.6 points per contest. That came with an inefficiency to hit open shots, as he often settled for three-pointers (6.2 per game) and made just 30.8 percent of them. He was not a good shooter, and this hurt the Blue Devils when he tried to stretch his game.

Ball dominance hurt Barrett’s stock. From his 3.2 turnovers to 4.3 assists and a high 32.2 usage percentage, he was erratic with the basketball, and it showed when Zion Williamson did not receive the ball down the stretch of important games.

Will Barrett’s game translate? Players develop and grow out of tendencies. He is 19 years old, but these aspects on a New York Knicks team that had ball-dominant players in 2018-19 might not make him a welcomed addition; but placing him alongside top talents the team may sign this summer could prove otherwise.