The 2019 NBA Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. The Game Haus will be doing scouting reports on some of the top prospects in the 2019 NBA Draft. Duke wing R.J. Barrett teamed up with Zion Williamson at Duke and now both players are expected to be selected very early in the 2019 NBA Draft.
2018-2019 stats: 22.6 points per game, 7.6 rebounds per game, 4.3 assists per game, 0.9 steals per game, 0.4 blocks per game, 45.4% FG, 30.8% 3pt
Size: 6-foot-7, 202 pounds
Although Zion Williamson got a lot of the hype this season at Duke, Barrett was the higher rated prospect by several recruiting rankings heading into the college basketball season. Williamson may have passed him in terms of NBA prospect rankings, but Barrett was a great college basketball player in his own right.
The Canadian forward was a consensus All-American for Duke last season. He tied Williamson for the team lead in scoring at 22.6 points per game. The Blue Devils had a great regular season, but faltered in the NCAA Tournament, losing to Michigan State in the Elite Eight. Despite this, he had a great season and has set himself up well to be coveted by a lot of NBA teams.
Barrett has gone up against the best of the best in the ACC and for team Canada and is now prepping for the NBA. He will hear his name called by Commissioner Silver very early in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Barrett is great at creating his own shot and can score in a variety of different ways. He can get to the basket and finish around bigger defenders, as he isn’t afraid of contact. He is determined to get to the rim and draws a lot of fouls. Barrett also can hit mid-range shots and has the ability to hit outside shots enough to keep defenders honest. He is also great in transition.
To help him score, Barrett has a good, filled-out frame. With his frame, he should be able to play either wing spot or if a team goes small he could be the second-biggest guy on the court. He has good play strength, which greatly complements his play style of going to the basket and seeking contact.
He has the potential to be a very good defender. His strength, length and quickness could be tools that are molded to help him be a great defender. Barrett has shown flashes of being a good defender, but has inconsistencies on the defensive end of the court that need to be cleaned up.
Barrett is a great scorer, but he gets tunnel vision and doesn’t always make the smartest basketball plays. He will drive to the basket and try to finish over two or three defenders instead of passing to teammates who are open on the perimeter. This likely worked in high school when he was the best player, but in the NBA he will need to pass to open shooters.
His outside shot is inconsistent and his form is a little off as well. In today’s NBA, wing players have to be able to hit shots from the perimeter to keep defenses honest. He hit 30.8% of shots from deep in college and needs to hit at least that percentage in the pros with the deeper three-point line.
While he has a great left-hand, he is almost too left-hand dominant. He regular goes left and looks unorthodox going to his right. If NBA defenders force him right, he may not be as effective as he was in college.