Longtime NBA exec says Knicks rookie RJ Barrett ‘will be fine, he’s a scorer’
After struggling in his first two Summer League games, New York Knicks rookie RJ Barrett played well in his final three games, showing why he’s got tremendous upside.
Barrett scored just 10 points on 22.2 percent shooting from the field in the Knicks’ Summer League opener against the New Orleans Pelicans. The lefty followed that up with an eight-point, 10-rebound game versus the Phoenix Suns. Barrett shot just 20.0 percent in that game.
The media, because they are ruthless, were killing Barrett and some were calling him a bust already. The talented small forward ignored the noise and kept his head down and controlled what he could control. That allowed Barrett to break out of his slump in the Knicks’ third Summer League game against the Toronto Raptors. He put up 17 points, 10 rebounds and six assists while shooting 42.9 percent overall.
Barrett then posted 21 points and 10 rebounds versus the Los Angeles Lakers. He shot only 35.3 percent from the floor, but New York’s brain trust was just happy to see their prized rookie gaining confidence.
After putting up 21 points, eight rebounds and 10 assists against the Washington Wizards on Saturday, one longtime NBA executive says RJ Barrett is going to be fine in the league:
RJ Barrett improved throughout Summer League and finished tonight with 21 points, 8 boards and 10 assists. Says longtime league exec: “RJ will be fine. He’s a scorer.“
— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) July 14, 2019
At Duke, Barrett averaged 22.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists while shooting 45.4 percent from the field, 30.8 percent from beyond the arc and 66.5 percent from the free-throw line.
The Knicks can’t expect RJ to be an efficient scorer right away in the NBA. It will take a few years for that to happen.