R.J. Barrett Entering 2019 NBA Draft

Duke wing R.J. Barrett, one of the top prospects in this year’s draft class, has formally confirmed that he’s declaring for the 2019 NBA draft, posting a video on Twitter to announce his decision.

In his freshman year with the Blue Devils, Barrett was one of the most productive players in the country, averaging 22.6 PPG, 7.6 RPG, and 4.3 APG with a .454/.308/.665 shooting line. He currently ranks as the No. 3 prospect on Jonathan Givony’s big board at ESPN.com, behind only teammate Zion Williamson and Murray State point guard Ja Morant.

As Givony details in his scouting report, Barrett is a “versatile, intelligent player with terrific scoring instincts” who is capable of playing on or off the ball. He also has good physical tools, with the sort of size and athleticism that should transition well to the NBA.

Barrett’s outside shooting and efficiency are areas to focus on as he prepares to go pro. According to Givony, some NBA scouts also question his overall upside, comparing him to second-tier NBA stars like Jimmy Butler and DeMar DeRozan.

Nonetheless, Barrett figures to be one of the first few players to come off the board this June. While he technically has until May 29 to reconsider and withdraw his name, he looks like a lock to keep his name in this year’s draft pool.

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8 thoughts on “R.J. Barrett Entering 2019 NBA Draft

  1. acarneglia

    If he is at worst Butler or DeRozan, I think a team could live with that

  2. x%sure

    Much more like Derozan than Butler. Might be relatively slow to get going and mostly scores 2s inside but nothing wrong with getting a smarter lower-scoring Derozan lite at #3. Safe pick for a future starter. Less likely to play some PG like Culver could.

    Reddish looks like Butler literally!

    • If you want someone that looks like Jimmy Butler, look up Alize Johnson from the Pacers. He’s even more of a Butler doppelganger.

  3. Stoop Down Low

    This kid is a super talent and should be discussed at #1 pick over Zion since he plays the most important position. Also on looks alone figures to be more durable and reliable than Morant but admittedly looks can be deceptive. Cam Reddish on the other hand did not stand out consistently at Duke and would benefit from more schooling but who’s kidding whom?

    • Both Zion and Barrett play basically the same position. Admittedly Zion is probably more suited for the 4 and Barrett the 3 but that shouldn’t be a big sticking point in a positionless league. I mean the main reason Zion has passed Barrett in terms of draft rankings is because of his elite athleticism which you can’t teach. Barrett is probably the more polished all-around player than Zion but both can continue to develop and grow their games when they get to the big leagues.

      • ncbrave

        Agreed Barrett is the better basketball player. Zion is the better athlete. What Zion has you can’t teach. That size speed combo doesn’t come around very often. If Zion can ever develop a mid range game he will be unstoppable. As a Duke fan can’t blame Barrett or Zion for leaving, but I think Reddish needs another year. He needs to find his game in college that’s tough to do in the NBA.

  4. Nebraska Tim

    I’m very interested to see how RJ develops as a pro.

    Good bloodlines and great history of success, but the NBA is alway a super hard jump no matter how talented you are.

    Of course, I’m also very interested to see how Zion’s game fits at the pro level.

    There’s some really exciting talent coming in this year. Lots of teams/fans will be holding their breath and praying while watching the ping pong balls!

  5. Luckylefty2

    Does anybody else fear Barrett will become another Shabazz Muhammad??

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