Mixed Reviews On R.J. Barrett’s Rookie Season

RJ Barrett had an up-and-down rookie season, but the 2019 No. 3 overall selection flashed the top-notch potential that made him a tantalizing pick. Some within the league believe Barrett’s strides are promising, as Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic hears.

“I think he’s a got a bright future if the Knicks handle him the right way and (give him) the resources to keep improving,” one Western Conference scout told Vorkunov.

Barrett’s 14.3 points per game were third among all rookies, though efficiency remains an issue. Barrett ranked in the 24th percentile as a scorer off the pick-and-roll, per Synergy Sports, and his turnover rate left much to be desired.

Another rival scout told Vorkunov that he doesn’t believe Barrett will become a “high-level” play-maker, but his ability to get the paint consistently provides hope for his future. Still, free throw shooting is an area of concern, as the rookie made just 61.9% of his attempts. Vorkunov notes that – within the last 10 years – only three rookies who shot at least 200 attempts during their respective rookie seasons were worse from the line (Nerlens Noel, Ben Simmons, Elfrid Payton).

Still, there’s optimism surrounding Barrett’s long-term viability in the league.

“Not sure (shooting guard is) his long-term role moving forward,” the aforementioned Western Conference scout added. “… I like his makeup. The way he plays. There’s definitely a competitive side to him that is not very common with a lot of these young players coming in … The pick for the Knicks was a good one … Once he finds his comfort zone he’ll be a really good player. He’s got to work on his shot.”

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8 thoughts on “Mixed Reviews On R.J. Barrett’s Rookie Season

  1. Simmons>Russ

    RJ is a solid player but obviously going to that Knicks team was going to be difficult.
    He would have to shoot more and take more difficult shots, hence the worse than anticipated efficiency. It was also going to hurt the confidence playing on a team that always loses with such passionate fans there.

    He’s going to be a really solid NBA player I just don’t think it’ll be in New York. Not sure if they should trade him now while he’s still got a high value or layer after he’s proven himself more or possibly hurts his value.
    What would be cool is Barrett going back to his homeland in Toronto and him teaming up with Siakim and the Raptors new young duo.

  2. metsie1

    RJ had a solid rookie season. He is going nowhere. The Knicks need to start somewhere and he is one of the players who will be here. He does need to improve his shooting. Period. He misses some wide open looks and he knows it. What will be cool is if the Knicks begin to add some legitimate players to play with Barrett. He is not going to Toronto or anywhere else for that matter.

      • hOsEbEeLiOn

        Look at the team he was on.

        You look at Ja Morant, breakout player in Dillion Brooks, solid center in Jonas Valacunias and overall a well balanced roster including Jaren Jackson Jr.

        Zion Williams has Brandon Ingram (former #2 overall), Jrue Holiday, and others.

        Barrett didn’t have nearly the team other rookies who showed ample success did. He was the guy in New York.

        Idk how people can say welp he’s not going to turn out to be much when the Knicks loaded their roster with 2nd and 3rd string players and can’t figure out who to develop and who not to develop.

        When the Lakers loaded their roster with a bunch of role players Kobe got them to 42-40 record back in 2006.

  3. ‘I think he’s a got a bright future if the Knicks handle him the right way’

    As a Knicks fan, I have to laugh at this. He’ll be traded within two years, guaranteed.

  4. KnickerbockerAl

    Kobe really . Knick haters don’t know squat about playing in NY. Kobe didn’t play in a diss functional team. At 19 RJ stats are better. 2006 Kobe was 26 yrs old in league for 10 yrs. Really. Comparing a rookie to a HOFer, really. RJ will probably be 4th in ROY race. But if it was a real yr. he still could be second. No one cares at this point. True his shot has to improve. Decision making has to improve. Part rookie part playing on team with no leadership. Part playing for diss function, feels he’s the guy. Eventually SF might his position. The way u judge can a player play different positions. Is can he guard it. RJ can guard the 1,2,and 3. He absolutely has a future in NY. Has right attitude to succeed. All of you need to get a grip. It wasn’t even a full yr. Best thing can happen for RJ is drafting Halliburton. Even so he’s a future all star.

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