R.J. Barrett after Knicks workout: 'This is the place I want to be'

Yahoo Sports

R.J. Barrett knows where he wants to play his NBA ball.

The Duke product worked out for the New York Knicks on Monday, and told reporters that he doesn’t plan to meet or showcase himself for any other teams in the days leading up to the NBA draft on June 20. Barrett made it very clear: he hopes to end up in the Big Apple.

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“This is the place I want to be, so I hope they draft me,” Barrett said.

What will the Knicks do this offseason?

As things currently stand, Barrett’s dream may become reality. The Knicks hold the third pick behind the New Orleans Pelicans and Memphis Grizzlies. It’s considered a near-lock that the Pelicans will go with Zion Williamson, Barrett’s Duke teammate, as the top selection while Murray State point guard Ja Morant goes No. 2 to Memphis.

That leaves Barrett, who said he has family in Brooklyn, as one of the top prospects available when the Knicks pick at No. 3. Barrett, a 6-foot-7 wing, averaged 22.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game as a freshman under Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Duke wing R.J. Barrett made it clear on Monday: he hopes the New York Knicks draft him. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Duke wing R.J. Barrett made it clear on Monday: he hopes the New York Knicks draft him. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Barrett, who turns 19 on Friday, can really score the ball (his 860 points is fourth-most in NCAA history for a freshman), but isn’t always the most efficient player. His lusty scoring average came on 18.5 attempts per game and a 45.4 field-goal percentage, including just a 30.8 percent mark from three-point land.

If he does end up with the Knicks, Barrett would team up with another young scoring wing, Kentucky product Kevin Knox, and guard Dennis Smith Jr. to make up an intriguing young core.

The Knicks are also expected to be major players in free agency while pursuing Pelicans star Anthony Davis via trade. The Knicks were mentioned as a team that could be involved in a potential trade in an ESPN story about the Pelicans’ approach to dealing Davis, who requested a trade in January.

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