RJ Barrett erupts onto the scene
RJ Barrett is not a newcomer to pressure and expectations. He was ranked the number one high school prospect, was a top recruit at one of the most prestigious collegiate programs in Duke and is now the Knicks highest selection since Patrick Ewing. The Canadian standout will be starring in a starving New York market, desperate for hope.
Barrett is highly touted for his ability to score the basketball. He holds the ACC Freshman scoring record, was first-team All-American, recorded the 4th triple-double in Duke History, and averaged 22.6 points per game on a loaded Duke squad.
Barrett is entering the league as an accomplished collegiate athlete, and more will be demanded from him in the league. The Knicks have a mix of unproven and complementary scorers, but there is no clear-cut first option on offense. He has the potential to be a focal point on offense for the Knicks, and New York will likely need him to rise to the occasion.
RJ will need time to adjust to the league and feel comfortable with the team, as does any rookie. However, Barrett will need to adjust quickly and prove to be a quality scorer right away if New York wants to make it to the playoffs.
Scoring is not the only skill Barrett posses in his repertoire. He was one of the best all-around players in the draft, averaging 7.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game in college, and will need to be more than just a scorer for New York.
Barrett could potentially take over the offense and become a playmaker, something the Knicks need. His ability to bring the ball up, run in transition, and attack the basket, will open up seams for his teammates to score.
Barrett’s skill set can have positive outcomes for all of his teammates, and he will have to be able to get his while making his teammates better. It is a lot to ask of a rookie, but the 19 year old will have to be a difference maker if New York wants to make the playoffs.