New York Notes: Barrett, Durant, Bol, Bazley

Family considerations are part of the reason R.J. Barrett wants to be drafted by the Knicks tomorrow, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. At a press conference today, Barrett explained that his grandfather was a huge Knicks fan, his mother is from Brooklyn and his father played at St. John’s.

It appears Barrett will get his wish, unless someone leapfrogs New York and makes a deal with Memphis for the No. 2 pick. He has turned down requests for a workout with the Grizzlies, saying he prefers to play for the Knicks.

“My agent and I and my parents, we just decided not to (work out for Memphis),’’ Barrett said. “Not really anything wrong with Memphis. New York is just more where I wanted to be.”

Ja Morant ranks slightly higher on the Knicks’ board, but the team will be content to stay put at No. 3 and take Barrett if that’s how the draft works out, a source tells Berman.

There’s more from New York on the eve of the draft:

  • While the Knicks have clarity about their draft situation, free agency looks very different, notes Frank Isola of The Athletic. He cites league sources who believe Kevin Durant is headed to New York, even if Kyrie Irving winds up in Brooklyn. However, Isola is skeptical after hearing months of rumors that they want to play together. He adds that Durant’s Achilles surgery last week was performed by an orthopedic surgeon who formerly worked for the Knicks but is now with the Nets.
  • The Nets attended a private workout for Oregon center Bol Bol last week, tweets Ian Begley of SNY.TV. Brooklyn has the 27th pick and would probably have to move up for Bol, but the foot injury he suffered in college make his draft range unpredictable.
  • Darius Bazley is a name to watch if he’s still on the board for the Nets‘ selection, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. The 6’10” forward didn’t play college basketball after committing to Syracuse, but he has been impressive in workouts. Lewis mentions Stanford’s KZ Okpala, Auburn’s Chuma Okeke, USC’s Kevin Porter, Arizona State’s Luguentz Dort and Croatian Luka Samanic as other possibilities at No. 27.
newest oldest

20 thoughts on “New York Notes: Barrett, Durant, Bol, Bazley

  1. hiflew

    I can’t stand when guys turn down workouts. Especially when it is a team selecting BEFORE your chosen team picks. It’s one thing to be a proven free agent that doesn’t want to play in a small market, but this guy has done nothing in the league.

    That’s the equivalent of you getting a job interview, but saying you are not going to talk to the head of a certain department because you don’t want to work there. Even if you choose not to work in that department, completely shutting the door on it is a bad idea. You are probably not getting hired by that company.

    Obviously it’s not exactly the same, but it just sends the wrong message to the fans of Memphis who went through the exact same thing last year. I can’t remember the player, but they were picking at 8 and someone refused to workout for them. Part of me wants to see Memphis go ahead and pick him just because he doesn’t want to go there.

    • fishy 9 dogs

      Why wouldn’t you try to steer yourself to somewhere you want to be? You say it’s the equivalent to not talking to the head of a certain department because you don’t want to work there, why is that a bad thing? Anyone who wants to do something they enjoy would turn it down if it’s not what they wanted.

      • hiflew

        “Anyone who wants to do something they enjoy would turn it down if it’s not what they wanted.” Not if they want to eat or pay rent.

        That’s the thing. You want to be employed by the NBA. That’s the job. The Knicks don’t run the league, they are just a department of the league. You don’t get to pick where you get to go. THEY get to pick where you get to go.

        If your dream job is with Microsoft, but they are not going to start you in the department you want. But they are willing to start you in a different department. It would make more sense for you to work in the department of their choosing in the hopes that you get to go where you want after you have proven yourself. You have to earn it, not be given it.

        • I give no fox

          It’s not even remotely close to the same thing. If it were a job interview, it would be more like you being the most talented people entering the workforce. Let’s say, a lawyer. You passed the bar, graduated top of your class from Harvard, EVERYONE wants to employ you…you definitely have the right to not interview with certain firms coz you don’t want to go there

          • hiflew

            Yes many DIFFERENT businesses want to employ you. This is not that situation. This is ONE business, the NBA. All of the teams are not separate businesses, they are just franchises of that single business.

            Barrett might not want to work for a team, but the NBA can still make him go there. Either that, or he has the right to go find employment elsewhere via a foreign league or a non-basketball employer. But if Memphis selects his rights in the draft, then he has to go there or not play in the NBA until Memphis decides to trade his rights elsewhere.

            • I give no fox

              I agree that he has to work for whoever drafts him, however, you villainizing the kid for not wanting to meet with Memphis with unfair comparisons isn’t cool. I am willing to wager that teams have drafted players without meeting and that they went on to have terrific working relationships

              • People forget Curry tried to steer himself away from the Warriors. Josh Jackson refused to work out for the Celtics. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. Players are handcuffed to their organizations for years, why not try to head to a more desirable location

            • jmoney26

              Then how is it different than a company with several different locations? They can’t force you to interview at a location you don’t want to move to……But if you want to work for that company bad enough and if that’s all they offer or the only opening they had, then you take it. That’s exactly what RJ is doing/going to do. Interviewed for the location he wants to work at, New York, but if Memphis is the only offer he has (gets drafted by them), he’ll take that job.

            • spinach

              It is a bad example because this has nothing to do with paying rent or securing employment. He is guaranteed to be guaranteed $15m or whatever a top 3-5 pick gets for two years these days.

              It’s like if your dad was a VP at Microsoft and the fix was in for you getting a job and it was between a department you like and one you didn’t, and if you interviewed with the one you didn’t like and impressed them that’s where you’d get stuck. It would be silly to interview with that department, unless you planned to internationally blow the interview, which itself would be silly.

        • padam

          That’s a bad analogy. I just simply wouldn’t interview with Microsoft – I have that option. Barrett is simply trying to make a statement – he’s not interested in playing for Memphis and would prefer the Knicks. Of course he’ll play for Memphis if drafted by them, but simply making a statement that he’d prefer not by not participating in a workout for them. It’s simply strategic and trying to get what he wants while abiding the system that determines his team.

      • emac22

        He wouldn’t

        He just isn’t evolved enough to realize that all humans want the right to make decisions for themselves.

        Or know that Memphis sucks…..

    • Does having the door shut on you by a company matter if you already shut the door yourself?

      He doesn’t want to go to Memphis. Simple. He shouldn’t take the job interview and waste everyone’s time because you want to try and draw a parallel to mundane careers.

      He doesn’t owe the Memphis fans anything.

      • hiflew

        Mundane careers? Really?

        But the NBA does owe the Memphis fans something. It owes them the same chance at success as every other franchise in the league.

        Besides, RJ Barrett doesn’t have a choice. He doesn’t get to shut doors. If he wants to work for the NBA and the Grizzlies select him, he will go to Memphis. Or he can ply his trade overseas. But if the Grizzlies select him and play hardball, he will only play for them in the NBA until he reaches unrestricted free agency after 8 years or so. Either that or he can go play in Greece or Lithuania while the Grizzlies retain his NBA rights.

        Memphis doesn’t owe him anything either.

        • 4Quarters

          Technically, players don’t work for the NBA. The “A” stands for association–which is an association of corporations (each team is its own corporation with its own stakeholders)

          Teams contract with players, players are unionized contractors associated with an association.

          A better, “not quite accurate”, analogy would be RJ is a top Stanford data science PhD grad and FaceBook, Amazon, and Google all come calling. He says he’s not really feeling Facebook, so declines their interview offer – got his eyes set on Google.

  2. shawn hemp

    Bol bol gotta go top 10. U can’t pass on that potential. If he’s kristaps ( aka unicorn thunder) u gotta take a chance

    • emac22

      A chance at what?

      Another crybaby primadonna who makes little to no difference in the teams results?

    • Luckylefty2

      Do you watch basketball ? I just dont understand why people think a 7’2, 200 pound center. Who isn’t agile and is injury prone should go top 10? don’t get me wrong he has a lot of skill, but his ceiling to me is boban with a 3 pointer and his floor is thon maker.

  3. cpt redbeard

    This guy has every right to turn down interviews, if the NBA had issues with this tactic they could easily make it mandatory for players entering the draft to interview with every team(or lottery teams or whatever). This isn’t some fringe draft pick. This is top of the class and like it or not, these players have a bit more leverage.

    I have seen some examples thrown around about it being a company or what not but it is not a good example. It is more like the NBA is Amazon, and the teams are the different departments at Amazon. Barrett’s wants to work at Amazon and Amazon wants him to work there. He just doesn’t want to work in IT, so he is not interviewing with that department.

Leave a Reply