R.J. Barrett: NBA Draft Player Profile
R.J. Barrett grew up wanting to be just like his father. He spent countless and endless hours most times alone playing the game he loved just like he loved his dad. “My momma” used to tell me not all hustles are heard. A lot of times it’s you putting your head down failing, succeeding, elevating, evolving, while no one hears a sound.
Freshly new billionaire music mogul Jay-Z, on his debut album “Reasonable Doubt”, famously penned an anthem aptly titled “Can’t Knock the Hustle”. Almost prophetically, this tune serves as a mantra for all current and future entrepreneurs, who have aspirations to ascend to the mountain top of their respective industries.
Since the year 2000, in Canada, there was a kid with just a ball and a dream. He traveled from gym to gym watching his father play basketball as a professional in Canada. While the father played in Canada he was friends with a ballplayer who just so happened to be a two-time MVP award recipient in the National Basketball Association. Not just any player, South African born-Canadian dribbling and passing wizard Steve Nash, who is certainly in the conversation of who are the best point guards in the history of the game.
The father’s name is Rowan Barrett. Currently a retired Canadian professional basketball player, who received an education at St.John’s University in New York. Life has a certain way of creating these serendipitous moments! The kid who was occupying his father to his professional games was R.J. Barrett. Yes, the R.J. Barrett who is projected to be selected 3rd overall to the New York Knicks in this year’s 2019 NBA Draft.
Canada is currently at the epicenter of professional basketball, given their very own Toronto Raptors were just recently crowned NBA world champions for the first time in the country’s and team franchise history.
Now their budding prized homegrown prospect, for the last year, R.J. Barrett, small forward and former Duke Blue Devil, has been sharping his skill sets under the guidance and counsel of one of the greatest basketball minds walking this earth, Duke’s Head Coach Mike “Coach K” Krzyzewski. Barrett was indeed a quick study. Only a freshman, in his 38 games played, Barrett averaged 22.6 ppg, grabbed 7.6 points per game and handed out 4.3 assists per game. Below I provide in detail his strengths, weaknesses, and overall grade.
Barrett exudes the energy of a young man who is only playing basketball to achieve greatness. Although only being 19 years old, Barrett embodies great leadership qualities and a willingness to be coachable. Barrett is aggressive on offense and displays a multitude of ways to finish at the basket in transition. His scoring mentality enables him to attack the basket with reckless abandonment. In the NBA, I see Barrett averaging in the range of 15-19 ppg. Defensively, he moves his feet well and allows his toughness to deter opponents.
His confidence and inner belief he can score on anyone or against any defensive set is a gift and a curse. Thus Barrett at times can try and do too much on offense. Therefore, his erratic shot selection is a direct reflection.
However, Barrett needs to improve on involving his other teammates more in offensive sets and develop a more consistent mid-range and 3 point jump shot. His overall shot selection needs to be and will be addressed at the next level, which I am confident Barrett will make the appropriate adjustments. His overall field goal and even worse, his 3-point field goal percentage is not good enough to even mention. Investing the proper time in order to develop into a better overall shooter and gaining the knowledge of game management will be a top priority for Barrett. All in all the team whoever selects him will be fortunate to gain his services.
Overall Grade: B
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