RJ Barrett has tweaked his shot, worked on shifting directions off the dribble
Duke standout RJ Barrett has been hitting the practice court in recent days to tweak his form and style of play ahead of this year’s NBA Draft, according to a report from Ian Begley of SNY.
Barrett has been working closely with his trainer, Drew Hanlen, for several weeks. According to Begley, the goal is to improve Barrett’s game on two fronts: shooting form and off-the-dribble movement.
Barrett has moved his right hand on the side of the ball for a smoother release, and turned his stance to allow for a more fluid shot. He’s also spread his shooting hand, so the backspin on his shot spins tight and lowered his base so he has better rhythm, Hanlen says.
At 6-7 and 207 pounds, Barrett has good size. However, once he’s drafted, he’ll need to be able to shake some of the best defenders in the NBA. For this reason, the 19-year-old star has been practicing his lateral movement.
“I put him on the exact same shiftiness program that I put Bradley Beal on a few years ago, and it really helped Brad turn into a playmaker,” Hanlen told SNY. “With Brad, it was really a two-summer process. We put RJ on it in the pre-draft. It takes time to get shifty and get your body moving, get it to more fast-twitch movement and everything like that. But he’s definitely progressing well in both the shooting and the shiftiness categories. We’ll keep working all summer to get him as ready as possible for his rookie season.”
Barrett would be a fine addition to any team’s roster. The Toronto native made 38 appearances in his lone season at Duke (all starts), racking up averages of 22.6 points on 45.4 percent shooting from the field (30.8 percent from beyond the arc), 7.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists and just under one steal (0.9) in 35.3 minutes per outing.
All in all, Hanlen likes the progression that Barrett has shown thus far:
“He’s definitely moving more fluidly and he’s definitely addressed some of the weaknesses that we saw in his game,” Hanlen said.
Exactly where RJ Barrett will be taken in this year’s NBA Draft is still up for debate. Most experts are labeling him as a top-5 pick. Wherever he ends up, it sounds like he’ll be ready.