Many of the basketball fans around the world share the opinion that Zion Williams is the best player in this year’s draft. But a solid part of experts does not accept that claim.
According to them, RJ Barrett is a more useful player than Zion, who is undoubtedly a “generational talent.” Those guys are saying that Barrett is the whole package and that his skills are much versatile than Zion’s.
But that is something which could be evaluated after several years of playing. While Zion has a talented team, whose ceiling is yet to be explored, Barrett’s Knicks are in one big mess.
"I'm loving it. This is where I wanted to go so, I'm so happy to be going." ✊
— NBA TV (@NBATV) June 21, 2019
All the media were announcing the arrival of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, but eventually, this is not going to happen.
KD is injured, and is highly unlikely to change the environment, while Uncle Drew is coming to the Big Apple, only he isn’t going to play for the Knicks, but instead the Brooklyn Nets.
So it means that the youngster from Duke is going to carry this team on his own.
Two days ago, he stated that if the Knicks pick him, he wouldn’t mind playing without KD or Kyrie. The main thing for him is just to play.
“It doesn’t even matter to me, I just want to play,” Barrett said at NBA Draft Media Day on Wednesday. “So whatever happens, happens. And if I play with a great player like KD or just play with the guys on the team right now, I don’t even care.”
We mentioned that Barrett is will “carry” the Knicks alone, without the help of any superstars. One of the reporters used the exact same phrase when asking the 19-year old is he able to do meet the expectations and lead the franchise.
“Carry? I wouldn’t say carry,” Barrett said calmly. “This is the biggest stage. I’m excited to be here, I’m excited to play, but I haven’t even played a game yet, so why you going to ask me a question like that?”
First question RJ Barrett is asked at his introductory Knicks press conference: “Do you have big enough shoulders to carry this franchise?”
Welcome to New York, kid. pic.twitter.com/mXUDK38eXM
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) June 21, 2019
An intelligent answer, from an intelligent kid. Barrett averaged 22.6 points per game, along with 7.6 boards an 4.3 assists playing team-high 35.3 minutes. His best friend and teammate Williamson had similar numbers.
There is already a big debate about the winner of the next year’s NBA Rookie of the Year Award, and these two guys are the main favorites for that.
When asked does he has what it takes to beat Zion, RJ said:
“It’s going to be a battle, but I’m confident enough that I can get it.”
On another thing, which was in focus last night and it concerned Barrett partially is the fact that his homeland, Canada had six drafted players, which is something never happened before.
It is the new record for a non-USA country, which will be hard to broke any time soon. Quickly enough after Toronto Raptors won the NBA title, it is another honor for this nation.
Besides the Knicks’ guard, Nickeil Alexander-Walker from Virginia was picked 17th by the Pelicans, Gonzaga’s Brandon Clark went to Memphis as the 21st pick, Florida State’s Mfiondu Kabangele to Clippers (via Brooklyn, 27th), while Marial Shayok from Iowa State went to 76ers as a 54th choice.
— Paul Haavardsrud (@PaulHaavardsrud) June 21, 2019
Ignas Brazdeikis was No. 45, and Michigan’s forward ended in New York along with Barrett, after getting traded from Sacramento.
Barrett was very proud on that fact, saying that it feels wonderful to be a Canadian at the moment.
“It’s amazing to be Canadian,” R.J. Barrett said. “We take a lot of pride….Canadian basketball is really on the rise.”
According to various sources, he has a desire to participate in the upcoming World Cup held in China. It is up to the Knicks to decide whether is that good or not for them and the youngster.
The fans have enormous expectations from the teenager. We all know that New York fans are tough and hard towards their favorites, but it hasn’t been a while since they had a player like this one.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.