New York Knicks: Projecting RJ Barrett’s rookie season

NBA Draft RJ Barrett (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
NBA Draft RJ Barrett (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

With the 2019-20 NBA season on the horizon, we try and project what RJ Barrett’s rookie season will look like with the New York Knicks

As arguably the best basketball player to ever come out of Canada, RJ Barrett is as one of the more heralded players in basketball history already. And after being drafted third overall in the 2019 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks, few players in franchise history have faced the expectations that await Barrett, with the exception of Patrick Ewing who was drafted first overall in the 1985 Draft.

Barrett, though, has all the tools to be an exceptional basketball player and perhaps one day to find himself in the Hall of Fame.

Scouts and basketball pundits have compared Barrett’s basketball game to other known Canadian basketball stars such as Andrew Wiggins and current Spur DeMar DeRozan. Barrett has drawn these comparisons as he has performed as a top tier scoring talent that will able to put up gaudy numbers in the NBA for years to come.

More from Sir Charles In Charge

Let’s dig into what that exactly means, as we attempt to project Barrett’s rookie season.

RJ Barrett

Position: Shooting Guard/Small Forward

College: Duke

HT: 6-foot-7 

WT: 210 Lbs

RJ Barrett is entering the NBA after having a historic freshmen season this past year at Duke University. In his only collegiate season, Barrett averaged 23 points, eight rebounds and four assists per game in 38 appearances for Duke.

Even while sharing the court with Zion Williamson, Barrett still was able to secure a number of coveted collegiate awards for his impressive one season at Camden. Barrett was named consensus All-American 1st Team, All-ACC 1st Team, John Wooden Award Finalists, and awarded the 2019 Jerry West Award for the best shooting guard in college basketball.

Barrett is a natural-born elite basketball scorer that has a high basketball IQ to make a plethora of plays on the offensive side of the ball. When I look at Barrett’s full basketball make-up I see a player that is a combination of James Harden, Jalen Rose, and Grant Hill.

Barrett’s overall game style favors Grant Hill very well offensively with his ability to get the basketball at will and score around the basketball with an endless amount of finishes in addition to being able to facilitate an offense as effective as a point guard. Like Hill, Barrett is also an excellent rebounder for a wing player. Barrett shares a lot of basketball elements and traits with Grant Hill. Similar size (6’7/6’8), similar overall game styles, both were the No. 1 prospect of their respective high school class, similar backgrounds (professional sports fathers) and both were stars at Duke under Coach K.

With Barrett’s offensive versatility and lefty dominant play, he also favors well to Jalen Rose. Like Rose, Barrett’s athleticism isn’t eye-popping but can score around the basketball with outwitting the defense. Barrett is able to play as the main ball handler or off the ball very comparable to what Jalen Rose skill-set became in the NBA.

Barrett also has some James Harden in him. Like Harden, Barrett is a supreme scorer that can breakdown any defender and who is capable of putting the ball in the basket in as many ways as possible. Barrett has shown the capacity to get the basketball frequently which has led RJ to showcase the talent for getting a lot of fouls called and numerously getting to the free-throw line which is an attribute Harden is virtually legendary at already in his career.

I believe RJ Barrett will be something of a combination of these three NBA legends but he’ll be no doubt a player we remember in the NBA for decades to come. Barrett’s game is better suited for the NBA than the collegiate game and therefore will be more impressive to many once they see him perform on the NBA stage. Barrett will be a perennial All-Star and has the potential to become a league MVP and the chance to be a top 5 player in the league one day.

After looking over comparable NBA rookie years, here’s what we can expect numbers-wise from RJ Barrett during his rookie season: 19 points, six rebounds, six assists, and 1.5 steals per game in 35 minutes played per contest.

2019 FIBA World Cup: 3 biggest threats to take down Team USA. dark. Next

RJ Barrett will be in the running for the 2019-20 NBA Rookie of the Year award and will have a promising career. Barrett is taking on giant expectations this season when he suits up for the New York Knicks. Here’s to hoping he’s everything, and then some, for the struggling franchise.