The New York Knicks have the third pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and that pick can change their future if used properly. There are some speculations that the Knicks may trade that pick in a package deal for Anthony Davis but we will ignore that scenario and focus on them actually drafting a player.
The first three picks in the draft seem like they will follow a certain order. Zion Williamson will be first pick and after that, Ja Morant will most likely be selected. With the third pick, the Knicks will most likely draft the remaining best player in the draft R.J. Barrett. Should they draft Barrett with the 3rd pick?
Most people will know Barrett as Williamson’s Duke teammate. He was a force to be reckoned with because when he drove, he would almost always score. That is a great quality for a player but NBA scouts believe that he won’t be able to drive like he did in the NBA because the players will be much bigger and stronger. While I do see that point, I think Barrett will adjust accordingly. He is lenghy and has a great touch. With some games under his belt in the NBA, he will figure it out and will thrive.
Scoring is one thing I believe Barrett will do well. He is very capable and does not shy away from a bad shot. That may also be my biggest criticism of Barrett. Bad shots should be avoided unless you are really good at making them. As a young player coming into the league, he should not take those bad shots and I hope that the people around him tell him exactly that.
Bad habits need to be extinguished because if they aren’t, they may stay around forever. A good example of that is Russell Westbrook and the amount of bad shots he takes because he has been taking them all his life. In the NBA, those shots are much harder to make because the defender or defenders are much bigger and stronger and have a higher basketball IQ. Barrett has gotten a reputation as a volume shooter and that might be his downfall.
I am afraid that Barrett may in fact be the second coming of Westbrook. We have seen how far a player like Westbrook can go in the playoffs with his style of basketball. There are other factors such as selfishness that we cannot account for in Barrett because we don’t have too much to go on but he also does not pass the ball at times at the end of games. He tries to play hero ball too often and let’s hope that he trusts his teammates in the NBA because they are much more experienced then him.
So, should the Knicks draft Barrett? He has a bunch of flaws but I will say that he has a high ceiling and that alone is worth the gamble. My fear that he may end up like Westbrook and hurt his team by taking bad shots and not passing when the game is close won’t go away. Still, he is the best player that will be left for the Knicks to draft and they should ultimately gamble on him.