R.J. Barrett

FIBA World Cup Notes: Barrett, Drummond, Adebayo

RJ Barrett will not participate in the 2019 FIBA World Cup for Canada due to a mild calf strain, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. The most recent No. 3 overall pick will join Team Canada for training camp and team activities in Toronto. Barrett represented his country over the last four summers and helped the squad qualify for the World Cup.

There’s also Team USA news. Here is the latest, via USA Basketball’s website:

And-Ones: Paul, Sylla, Tampering, Canada

In an interesting piece regarding Chris Paul‘s role as the head of the NBA Players Union, Tom Ziller of SB Nation opines that Paul’s reported insistence and hand in incorporating the Over-38 Rule into the 2017 CBA has now ironically landed him with one the most untradeable contracts in the NBA.

Paul, who is admittedly now under contract to make more money because of the rule change, is also stuck on the Thunder, a non-contending team, with no real way out until later this year when the latest crop of free agents become trade eligible.

Ultimately, Ziller opines that the tradeoff (non-contending team vs. an extra $45MM) was worth it for Paul, but wonders whether CP3, as union president, sacrificed the good of many (mid-level earners) for the benefit of few.

We have more odds and ends to report from around the basketball world:

  • Amar Sylla, the No. 23 prospect for the 2020 NBA Draft, has signed a three-year contract containing NBA out clauses with Belgian league champions BC Oostende, reports Jonathan Givony of ESPN.
  • Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer writes that many executives believe the penalty for tampering needs to be harsher, including the removal of first-round picks or even as severe as being barred from trading any picks for some amount of years in addition to the loss of picks. “Basketball operations needs to get hit the hardest, not an owner’s wallets,” said another executive.
  • Canada Basketball has announced the 29 players invited to attend the Senior Men’s National Team training camp ahead of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019. The list includes R.J. Barrett, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Cory Joseph, Jamal Murray, and Tristan Thompson.

Atlantic Notes: Williams, Knicks, Horford, Barrett

Second-year Celtics center Robert Williams picked up some skills from former teammates Al Horford and Aron Baynes during his rookie season, as he explained in a recent interview with Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe.

“Al isn’t the fastest person, but one thing that always amazed me about him was any time he got the ball, even if you knew what he was doing, it’s effective as hell,” Williams said, as relayed by Himmelsbach. “I kind of took to that. He taught me how to really put an emphasis on my moves.

“And watching Baynes showed me the importance of just going straight up on defense instead of swiping down. Honestly, I don’t even always have to block it. Making them alter it is a great solution too.”

Williams, 21, is expected to see more playing time entering next season with Horford leaving Boston in free agency and Baynes being traded to Phoenix. He appeared in 32 games with the team last year, averaging just 2.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 8.8 minutes per contest.

The Celtics also signed eight-year veteran Enes Kanter in free agency, one of the league’s most skilled players on the low block and another player Williams could learn from.

Here are some other notes from the Atlantic Division today:

  • The Knicks’ brass has been noticeably quiet since missing out on several top free agents in early July, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. New York was exceedingly confident that it could land two superstar talents on the open market this summer, but fell short to rival Brooklyn in pursuit of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.
  • Veteran center Al Horford broke the hearts of Celtics fans by choosing to sign a four-year, $109MM deal with the Sixers in free agency. “It feels right,” Horford said while wearing his new jersey in a video posted to the team’s social media this week. Horford will help make up a deadly 76ers frontcourt that includes the likes of Tobias Harris and Joel Embiid.
  • R.J. Barrett ended summer league exactly the way the Knicks hoped, Berman writes in a different article for The Post. Barrett tallied 21 points, eight rebounds and 10 assists during a 103-87 win over the Wizards on Saturday, showcasing his talents on both ends of the floor.

Knicks Sign R.J. Barrett

The Knicks have signed R.J. Barrett to his rookie contract scale contract, according to the team’s Twitter feed.

Assuming he signed for 120% of the rookie scale, Barrett will take home $7.84MM during his first season in the league. Barrett is expected to play for the Knicks’ Summer League team in Las Vegas.

Barrett was excited to be drafted by the franchise and at the time, it appeared he would come into the league on a contender, as New York was expected to make a splash in free agency. Instead, he’ll be in a typical situation for a team drafting in the top five.

The No. 3 overall pick should have the opportunity to be one of the most productive rookies during the 2019/20 season.

Knicks Notes: Durant, Wilkes, Draft, Cavanaugh

The Knicks will do their homework on Kevin Durant before committing to a max offer, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. The team will request access to Durant’s medical records and will evaluate his long-term chances for a full recovery from the ruptured Achilles he suffered in the NBA Finals.

New York’s front office recognizes that Durant will be 32 by the time he can play again in 2020/21 and may be dealing with a “load management” situation that will limit both the number of games he can play and his minutes in each one.

Sources tell Berman that the Knicks believe they’re still in the running for Kawhi Leonard, even though he seems more likely to stay in Toronto or go to one of the Los Angeles teams, and Kyrie Irving, who is rumored to be headed to Brooklyn.

There’s more from New York City:

  • After agreeing to sign UCLA forward Kris Wilkes to a two-way contract, GM Scott Perry said the team never expected him to be available, Berman relays in a separate story. Wilkes was projected as a second-round pick after leading the Bruins in scoring at 17.4 points per game. “Kind of surprised (Wilkes) didn’t get drafted, similar to Allonzo Trier last year,’’ Perry said. “Winning player, can score, 6-8, highly rated player coming out of high school. Exciting to add him to our mix and see how we can develop him.”
  • The Knicks were convinced about taking R.J. Barrett with the No. 3 pick, even though they worked out Darius Garland and Coby White shortly before the draft, relays Ian Begley of SNY.TV. Perry explained that the team was taking advantage of having the players in town. “You want to get a chance to see as many prospects as you can,” he said. “Learn more about them, learn their stories. Also further evaluate, you dot your final I’s and crossing the final T’s. So that’s what went into our thinking.”
  • Tyler Cavanaugh, who spent this season on a two-way contract with the Jazz, will join the Knicks’ Summer League team, tweets Eric Woodyard of The Deseret News. The 25-year-old power forward got into just 11 NBA games during the year, spending most of his time in the G League. He played 39 games for the Hawks in 2017/18, starting on a two-way deal before earning a standard contract.

And-Ones: Wiseman, Barrett, Dedmon, Barbosa, DeMarco

The latest 2020 mock draft has Memphis freshman center James Wiseman going to the Knicks with the No. 1 pick. ESPN’s Jonathan Givony has Georgia guard Anthony Edwards going to the Cavaliers at No. 2 and North Carolina guard Cole Anthony heading to the Suns at No. 3.

We have more from around the basketball world:

Atlantic Notes: Leonard, Nets, Horford, Barrett, Raptors

The Raptors’ pitch to Kawhi Leonard to remain with the organization is still being discussed but is near completion, GM Bobby Webster told the Toronto Star’s Doug Smith and other media members. “There’s definitely more (things to be done),” Webster said. “As you can imagine, there are a ton of thoughts and ideas.” Aside from the financial implications — the Raptors can offer their superstar a five-year deal worth nearly $190MM while other suitors can give him a four-year, $140.6MM contract — the organization is expected to emphasize its championship pedigree, the medical staff that earned Leonard’s trust, and a chance to keep winning in familiar surroundings, Smith adds.

We have more from around the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets have continued to clear cap room to sign two high-level free agents and there’s an expectation that this summer will be transformational for the Nets, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Draft-night trades cleared $2MM more in cap room, moving the team within $2MM of landing some combination of Leonard, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. GM Sean Marks indicated that going after big fish in free agency is the next logical leap for the franchise.
  • Al Horford would be a “no-brainer” free agent target for the Sixers if they don’t re-sign both Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes. Horford would be a natural fit at power forward alongside Joel Embiid and could play center in games that the oft-injured Embiid sits out, Pompey notes. Horford will decline his $30.1MM player option with the Celtics and pursue a multi-year contract in free agency.
  • There were mixed views on R.J. Barrett within the Knicks organization but GM Scott Perry was determined to draft the Duke freshman with the No. 3 pick, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. Barrett made a strong impression during a June 10 visit with the Knicks. “When we bring guys in, we allowed them to spend time with the front-office staff, coaching and medical staff. It became apparent he was going to be an excellent fit from a culture standpoint,” Perry said. “He did nice things on the court when he worked with coaches. He reaffirmed what we had seen during the college season. … We were comfortable remaining in the draft position at 3.”
  • The Raptors had some discussions about moving into the late first round or early second round of the draft but weren’t willing to give up future assets, Blake Murphy of The Athletic tweets.

Knicks Select R.J. Barrett With No. 3 Overall Pick

The Knicks have officially used the third overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft to select Duke forward R.J. Barrett.

Once viewed as the potential No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, Barrett’s stock dipped slightly during his freshman year with the Blue Devils. However, he still put up huge numbers, averaging 22.6 PPG, 7.6 RPG, and 4.3 APG in 38 games for Duke.

The Knicks’ No. 3 pick has been involved in trade rumors almost constantly since the team landed it in last month’s lottery, but with Anthony Davis no longer available, it appears that Barrett will stay put and begin his NBA career in New York.

Based on the projected rookie scale for 2019/20, Barrett is expected to earn a first-year salary of approximately $7.8MM.

For the rest of tonight’s picks, be sure to check out our full story on 2019’s NBA draft results, which will be updated consistently throughout the evening.

Williamson, Morant, Barrett Will Go 1-2-3

There won’t be any suspense regarding the first few picks on the draft this evening, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. Duke freshman sensation Zion Williamson, who emerged early in the college season as the top talent in this year’s draft will be selected No. 1 overall by the Pelicans.

The Grizzlies will select Murray State point guard Ja Morant with the No. 2 pick. Memphis’ interest in Morant became public shortly after the draft lottery. They opened up the starting point guard spot by agreeing to trade their all-time leading scorer, Mike Conley, to the Jazz.

The Knicks have settled on R.J. Barrett, according to Charania. The Duke swingman was regarded as the likely No. 1 pick before his teammate seized that distinction.

With the Pelicans agreeing to deal the No. 4 pick to the Hawks today, the first four selections seem set in stone. Atlanta reportedly moved up to snag Virginia forward De’Andre Hunter. Duke forward Cam Reddish might be in play for the No. 4 pick but the Hawks are leaning toward Hunter, Charania reports in a separate tweet.

Things will get a little cloudier once the Cavaliers, who hold the No. 5 pick, go on the clock.

Draft Notes: White, Garland, Hawks, Bazley

The Knicks held a last-minute workout with North Carolina guard Coby White this morning, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. It’s the second significant workout in less than 24 hours for New York, which brought in Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland yesterday.

White was impressive in the private session, according to Ian Begley of SNY.TV (Twitter link), and the Knicks are prepared to trade down if they get the right offer. They have also worked out Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver and met with Duke’s Cam Reddish, but are still expected to select Duke’s R.J. Barrett if they remain at No. 3.

There’s more draft news as tonight’s event draws closer:

  • Some members of the Knicks organization believe Garland is a better prospect than Barrett, according to Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. The Pelicans have discussed teaming Barrett with his Duke pal, Zion Williamson, and may be willing to surrender an asset in addition to the fourth pick to trade up to No. 3. After yesterday’s workout, Garland met with Knicks president Steve Mills, GM Scott Perry and coach David Fizdale.
  • If the Knicks draft a point guard, they may look to trade Dennis Smith Jr. along with Frank Ntilikina, tweets Steve Popper of Newsday.
  • The Hawks might not be done moving second-round picks after sending No. 44 to the Heat yesterday and No. 41 to the Warriors this morning. Chris Vivlamore of the Journal-Constitution tweets that Atlanta’s selection at No. 35 is also available.
  • Darius Bazley appears to have a first-round promise from somebody, tweets Tony Jones of The Athletic.
  • Scouts tell Sean Deveney of The Sporting News that Auburn’s Chuma Okeke, Oregon’s Bol Bol, Virginia’s Ty Jerome and Arkansas’ Daniel Gafford are being underrated in pre-draft reports.
  • Teams with late first-rounders are focusing on Villanova’s Eric Paschall, tweets Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, who expects him to be taken between 19th and 30th.