New York Knicks: Projecting rookie impact of top 2019 NBA Draft targets

(Photo by Jaylynn Nash/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jaylynn Nash/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
3 of 5
Duke RJ Barrett (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke RJ Barrett (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

3. RJ Barrett

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 formerly the top high school recruit in the country, before his superstar teammate at Duke broke out. That partially took away from the Canadian guard’s freshman season, but he still found 22.6 points and 45.4 percent shooting on one of college basketball’s best teams.

Expectations were always high for Barrett, and they will be in the NBA. A microscope always existed over his head in school, with comparisons to Zion Williamson and criticism on handling the ball too much. Valid or not, he is away from that and able to take a main role with a team atop the draft.

Transitioning to the NBA might not have difficulties at first for the 19 year old. He can slash to the hoop and finish with the left hand exceptionally, create his own shot, defend well and handle the basketball.

Otherwise, Barrett’s right hand needs work, as teams will hover his left side once scouting reports develop. The outside shot never came around, either, at just 30.8 percent, despite 6.2 attempts per game. Not developing that, or if he continues this poor shot selection, will hurt his game down the road.

As a rookie, though, Barrett can start to iron out his game. Look for at least 12 to 15 points per game, depending which team selects him, with contributions in rebounds and assists. Three-point attempts will be a category to watch, as his collegiate numbers won’t cut it for someone who handles the ball so frequently.