R.J. Barrett, the presumed third overall pick in this year’s NBA draft, met with members of the Knicks organization on Tuesday and spoke to reporters about the possibility of playing in New York, saying he loves the city and would enjoy calling Madison Square Garden his home court.
This all took place during a pro day held at UCLA, which is a thing where sports agencies host events for teams to come and meet with upcoming draftees, watch them workout and observe them perform some basketball-related activities. The Knicks didn’t work Barrett out, however, only meeting with the 18-year-old, according to Ian Begley of SNY.
This particular pro day was organized by BDA Sports Management agent Bill Duffy, according to the New York Post, and according to Adam Zagoria of Forbes, the Knicks sent scouts Mike Smith and Kristian Petesic. It was unclear if any other Knicks executives made the pro day, or if those two scouts were entrusted to handle the meet and greet.
RJ Barrett talking about potentially playing for the Knicks: “It would be a lot of fun, playing in the Garden, under the bright lights.” More here: https://t.co/AmzXZowNSd— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) May 28, 2019
According to Begley, Barrett said that he doesn’t necessarily have a team in mind for which he would like to play, although he also expressed an affinity for MSG and noted that his family is from Brooklyn. Luckily, the Nets don’t have a top three pick.
Barrett — wearing a pink, or possibly salmon Nike sweatshirt zipped all the way up to his chin — also said he was pumped to hear that Bernard King praised him the other day. It was cool to hear Barrett be very obviously aware of who King is, seeing as the Knicks legend retired about eight years before Barrett was born.
Earlier this week, Bernard King said that R.J. Barrett is "a tremendous talent with an all-around game."— SNY (@SNYtv) May 28, 2019
Today, Barrett is "definitely honored" to have received such a compliment from one of the greats: pic.twitter.com/67i7HaJYFM
We have no idea what Barrett talked about with the Knicks, nor do we even have much of a clue as to whether the team intends to actually keep the third pick. Rumor has it, of course, that the Knicks — which have publicly talked about how they plan to rebuild the right way this time — are hoping to land two max free agents and also trade for Anthony Davis this summer.
But let’s quickly go down a path where the Knicks keep their pick and use it to take Barrett. P&T’s own MMiranda recently broke down everything you need to know about Barrett, and the bottom line is that he is a bottomless well of potential.
Can you even imagine if the Knicks were to just get super groovy with it by kicking back and relaxing as the many youths on the roster grow and, hopefully, blossom? Select Barrett, retain Mitchell Robinson, Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina, Allonzo Trier and Dennis Smith Jr., and five years from now you could have a starting lineup and a sixth man.
Unfortunately, history says that most of those guys — especially the ones actually drafted by the Knicks — will not be here in five years. In case you didn’t already know, the last guy the Knicks drafted and then re-signed to a multi-year contract was none other than Heisman Trophy winner Charlie Ward. He was drafted in 1994.
Of course, there’s also the possibility that the Knicks go an entirely different direction come draft night on June 20.
SNY sources: the Knicks have a June 5 workout scheduled with Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver. Some members of NYK’s front office are high on the 6-6 shooting guard from Texas Tech. NYK has the No. 3 pick in the draft.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) May 28, 2019
The Knicks most likely wouldn’t simply take Culver at number three. They’d trade down in the draft in order to nab both Culver and some kind of additional asset. At least that’s what you would think.
It’s best to be prepared for all possible scenarios. You never know with this team.