The New York Knicks stayed in the top four of the lottery as one of the four teams with the best odds of landing the top spot, but fell to No. 3 overall.
So instead of Zion Williamson, it appears their rebuild will begin with Williamson’s running mate at Duke, Canadian shooting guard RJ Barrett.
Barrett had a productive freshman season for the Blue Devils, averaging 22.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 35.3 minutes per game while shooting 45.4 percent overall and 30.8 percent on 6.2 3-point attempts per game.
He was the No. 1 recruit in the nation in 2018, according to RSCIhoops, but Williamson’s big season propelled him past Barrett on every big board out there.
Barrett is a left-hander, which will provide him some advantage as even NBA defenders forget about that and tend to shade every one to their right hand. Barrett has a major-league Eurostep and terrific footwork off the gather already, while running the floor well and rebounding very well for his size.
He will need to get more comfortable from deep, as his form can be awkward at times and his confidence will noticeably wane if he misses early in games.
Like another Montverde Academy graduate who is well known in Brooklyn, Barrett is not a terribly explosive athlete around the rim and he will have to improve his ball-handling skills, particularly with the right hand, to operate in half-court sets.