Steve Nash says Knicks rookie RJ Barrett still needs to work on his ‘quickness and dexterity’
NBA Hall of Famer Steve Nash is keeping a close eye on the young career of his godson, New York Knicks rookie RJ Barrett.
The two-time MVP, who is considered the best Canadian player in NBA history, believes the 19-year-old player out of Duke has what it takes to bring New York back to relevance in the coming years.
Per Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, Nash opened up about some of his early observations of Barrett’s game.
“I think RJ’s physically not fully developed,” Nash shared. “I think he can improve his quickness off the mark. He’s athletic when he gets momentum. But his quickness and dexterity from a standstill position is something that, he’s so young, I think will improve. And his shooting has trended up for the last four or five years. I think when these things continue to trend up, we’re talking a player that has incredible potential.”
Steve Nash has been keeping tabs of the Canadian star ever since he started playing basketball. The now 45-year-old player consultant for the Golden State Warriors shares a good relationship with Barrett’s father Rowan, whom he played with on Canada’s national basketball team.
RJ Barrett, meanwhile, has already shown flashes of why the Knicks picked him third overall in this year’s draft. The 6-foot-6 swingman possesses a diverse skill set and the ability to play multiple positions.
Barrett has been putting up respectable averages of 14.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.0 steal in 41 games for the Knicks. He also seems to be finding his groove from the field, improving his shooting accuracy to 39.3 percent from the perimeter and 32.9 percent from deep.
However, Barett still has a lot of ground to cover, as he has been outplayed by some of his fellow freshmen. Second overall pick Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies currently leads the Rookie of the Year race, while Miami Heat undrafted rookie Kendrick Nunn is not far behind.