Knicks Rumors: RJ Barrett to have pre-draft meeting next week

RJ Barrett will have his long-awaited meeting with the New York Knicks ahead of the 2019 NBA Draft.

Once the New York Knicks landed the No. 3 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, their connection to Duke prospect RJ Barrett started, given New Orleans’ likeliness, to pick Zion Williamson first and Ja Morant becoming the point guard of the future in Memphis.

Teams usually meet with prospects before the draft to learn about them. Some of it is due diligence. Otherwise, these are players in contention to land at the said pick.

Well, the Knicks will finally meet with Barrett to take a closer look at their potential draft selection, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The visit is expected to happen “early next week,” with a medical evaluation and “light court work” expected for the 18 year old.

The Knicks already set up meetings with potential top-10 picks Jarrett Culver and Cam Reddish, who was Barrett’s teammate with the Blue Devils.

This is the chance for the front office to take a closer look at Barrett, whether with his medicals or if they see anything different in the court work. It could just be extra due diligence on someone they like enough to make the third overall pick.

Barrett already declined a workout with the Grizzlies, which sets him up for the Knicks or even the Los Angeles Lakers at No. 4. It is strategic, but if Morant lands second, this would not matter.

If Memphis passes on Morant, though, and both he and the Canadian prospect remain on the board, it makes this an intriguing selection, with roster needs across the board and either able to fill part of them.

If Barrett is the pick, he becomes New York’s highest selection since Patrick Ewing in 1985. The organization’s most recent top-five pick was Kristaps Porzingis, who went fourth overall in 2015, before the 2019 trade that sent him to the Dallas Mavericks.

The pressure will obviously exist on Barrett to perform, but he seemingly wants the higher profile destinations. He played for one at Duke, but the NBA places a larger microscope on his play. If that can be lived up to, this is a player for Knicks fans to embrace.