RJ Barrett is widely expected to be among the first selected in next month’s NBA draft, and rightfully so.
While he doesn’t have much say in the matter, it appears that the former Duke star has his sights set on the New York Knicks, who currently hold the No. 3 overall pick.
According to Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz of ESPN, the Grizzlies ownership group is still “locked in” on taking Murray State’s Ja Morant with the No. 2 overall pick. The front office did still request a private workout with Barrett, however he declined.
Barrett — who averaged 22.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists for the Blue Devils last season — is expected to workout with the New York Knicks early next month, and is reportedly “excited about landing in New York.”
Many expect the Knicks to take Barrett with the No. 3 overall pick, presumably after Zion Williamson and Morant go first and second, respectively. However, they will still “do their due diligence by making calls on trade options and evaluating other prospects.”
According to ESPN, the Knicks have seriously considered the possibility of trading back in the hopes of landing someone who would “better complement” a top-tier free agent — like Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving — they hope to land this summer. One example, per the report, would be trading their pick to the Atlanta Hawks for their No. 8 and No. 10 pick.
A lot can still happen before the draft on June 20. By that time, the Knicks — and the rest of the league — will likely have a better handle of how things will shake out in free agency, which will undoubtedly alter their draft strategy and could impact where Barrett lands.
For now, however, it appears Barrett has his sights set on playing in Madison Square Garden next season.
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