3 reasons the New York Knicks cannot afford to pass on RJ Barrett in the 2019 NBA Draft
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3 reasons the New York Knicks cannot afford to pass on RJ Barrett in the 2019 NBA Draft

Knicks, RJ Barrett

New York Knicks fans everywhere were disappointed when the results of the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery were announced and they were given the third overall pick.

Usually, getting the third pick would be cause for celebration. However, after finishing the season with the worst record, the Knicks won’t be able to get the prize of the year in Zion Williamson. They likely won’t even get Ja Morant.

There are still plenty of reasons to be excited, though. In fact, RJ Barrett should be considered a terrific consolation prize. The freshman forward put up fantastic numbers for Duke, but he was overshadowed by Williamson’s dominance.

Assuming Williamson and Morant go first and second in the draft, New York needs to do the right thing and draft Barrett. Here are three reasons why the Knicks can’t pass up on the Duke product.

Potential Mixed With Immediate Impact

R.J. Barrett, Duke

RJ Barrett will be just 19 for all of his rookie season. He’s the type of player who can do everything and will only improve his game in every facet as his career goes on. The potential he possesses could absolutely make him a star.

However, this isn’t raw potential.

Yes, Barrett will not be as polished in Year 1 as he will be in Year 4 but he’s still someone who can help the Knicks immediately. New York is a team in desperate need of some stars. Barrett will be able to join the roster and become one of their best players from the first whistle.

Star Baiting

Kevin Durant, Knicks, Warriors

The New York Knicks have a storied history. They’ve been more of a joke than anything else recently, though.

Something they’ve been surprisingly bad at is luring top-tier talent to the organization. The problem with that is, if you don’t bring in stars, you can’t win. If you don’t win, you won’t bring in stars.

It’s a terrible cycle that some teams seem to never be able to get out of, and it’s something the Knicks should fear.

However, one way to get out of it is drafting stars. If you can get star power on your team naturally, you can improve and lure other stars.

RJ Barrett would be a major step in the right direction. The drafting of him could even be a big selling piece to free agents this offseason (such as Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant).


RJ Barrett

In his one year with Duke, RJ Barrett proved he can be the star of a team. However, he also took a backseat to Zion Williamson on quite a few occasions.

The freshman never backed down from the spotlight, but clearly didn’t mind when someone else was stealing the show.

That bodes fantastically for the team that drafts him. Barrett can be the star of a team, but he also looks like an unselfish person who just wants to do whatever it takes to help his team win.

That could mean taking a backseat to other stars or even just sharing the light with them.

Last year was proof that RJ Barrett is willing to do just that. If the New York Knicks are smart, they wouldn’t let him get past No. 3 in the upcoming 2019 NBA Draft.