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Pelicans’ Zion Williamson says Knicks are ‘getting a killer’ in RJ Barrett

RJ Barrett, Zion Williamson

New Orleans Pelicans prized pick Zion Williamson gave his vote of confidence to former Duke teammate and now New York Knicks rookie RJ Barrett.

Barrett had been the presumptive No. 1 overall pick prior to the start of the 2018-19 collegiate season, but Williamson’s unprecedented talent saw him vault to the top of the draft boards. Williamson, however, acknowledged Barrett capability and said that the Knicks are lucky to have a player with an assassin’s mentality.

“(Knicks fans) can expect that they’re getting a killer,” Zion Williamson said in an interview with SNY at Panini’s NBA Rookie Photo Shoot on Sunday. “For the people that are trying to look down on him, RJ’s been through worse. He knows how to battle through it and he’s going to bring the city everything he’s got.”

New York had been hoping to land the opportunity to select Williamson at No. 1 overall in the 2019 NBA Draft, but they set their sights on Barrett when they fell to the No. 3 spot.

The Knicks filled out their roster with an assortment of mid-level talents and veterans in free agency, so the onus will be on Barrett to perform up to expectations.

Pressure and hype are nothing new to Barrett, however. He was one of the most highly-regarded high school prospects in recent memory, and he was one of the best pure scorers in college basketball while at Duke.

Barrett’s development as a shooter could hold the keys to his development, but he has been steady and measured in assessing his role as a potential star in the Big Apple.