2019 NBA Draft Profile: RJ Barrett
RJ Barrett is an assertive lefty scorer who lived up to the lofty expectations he faced at Duke, following perhaps the most accomplished junior career of any player in Canadian basketball history. The Toronto native staked his claim as one of the top young prospects in the world averaging 14.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game as a 14-year-old at the 2015 FIBA U16 Americas Championship. Despite frequently playing up multiple age-groups, Barrett found success on a wide array of platforms shining at the Jordan Brand Classic International Game, FIBA U17 World Championship, Nike Hoop Summit, Basketball Without Borders Global Camp, and Geico Nationals with Montverde Academy—all before he opted to forgo his final season of high school basketball and reclassify to the high school class of 2018. Widely regarded at the top prospect in that class earning McDonald’s All-American honors, Barrett turned in a signature performance in the semifinals of the 2017 FIBA U19 World Championship scoring 38 points to upset a US-team littered with other 2019 NBA Draft prospects. Made his senior national team debut last summer before averaging 22.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 4.3 assists to earn Consensus 1st Team All-American honors in his only season under Mike Krzyzewski.
Father Rowan Barrett represented Canada internationally and had multiple stints in Greece, France, and Venezuela over his two decades at the professional level.
- Possesses an impressive blend of size, fluidity, and body control. Has the dimensions and versatility to fill several roles standing 6’7 with a 6’10 wingspan and a steadily improving 208-pound frame to go along with an unflappable scorer’s mentality.
- Aggressive slasher whose game has rounded out impressively over time to complement his ability to get to the rim. Played a massive role for the Blue Devils first and foremost looking for his own offense but also contributing as a jump shooter, creating for others unselfishly, competing defensively, and doing a little bit of everything impacting winning in a variety of ways.
- Found much of his success using his assertiveness with the ball to score very opportunistically in the open court last season. 23.4% of his possessions came in open court which he converted for 1.084 per Transition possession [60th percentile]. Generates a lot of fast break opportunities for how frequently he chips in on the glass. Can finish emphatically with a head of steam or slow down and rely on his footwork to weave his way to the rim against retreating defenders. Finds all kinds of creative ways to get to the rim and draw contact finishing among the NCAA leaders in and-ones.
- Created shots for himself off the dribble in a variety of ways in the half court. Got between 5% and 9% of his possessions from Put Backs, Isolations, Pick & Rolls, Hand Offs, and Off Screens. Shot attempts were split almost evenly between floaters or shots at the rim and perimeter jump shots.
- Uses hesitation moves to set up his drives and step-throughs and spins to create space to get his shot off when he is not able to shake his defender. More smooth and tenacious than shifty attacking the rim. Comfortable taking smaller guards in the post, never looking tentative when hunting chances to score—especially in key moments. Scored 1.084 points per shot around the rim in the half court [44th percentile] and 0.704 points per floater [45th percentile]. Relies more on aggressiveness than finesse to finish. Possesses some creativity inside and patience making reads in the Pick & Roll, but has room to pick and choose his spots better as a penetrator and improve his right hand.
- Shows good vision as a passer despite his predelection to look for his own shot.
- Flashed potential as a jump shooter. Did not settle for a lot of pull-ups, but proved accurate off of both one and two dribbles when he found daylight from beyond the arc or in mid-range spots. Still developing his consistency as a set shooter. Mechanics are promising, but consistency is still a work in progress. Scored 0.952 points per catch and shoot jump shot in the half court [41st percentile]. Can take his offensive game to another level he if he can continue to become more consistent making shots with range in addition to his typical contributions as a slasher.
- Ranked 7th in the NCAA and 1st in the ACC in Transition scoring (6.1 ppp)
- Ranked 2nd in the ACC in Hand Off scoring (1.1 ppg)
- Ranked 4th in the ACC in Isolation scoring (1.8 ppg)
- Capable on-ball defender who had some nice moments against strong competition over the course of the season and has held his own across a variety of settings over the last several years. Has room to improve away from the ball in terms of rotations and ability to get in passing lanes but could emerge as a multi-positional defender on the wing as his body matures.
- Allowed 0.551 points per Isolation possession showing solid lateral quickness and good intensity for stretches. Makes some occasional hustle plays and is a consistent factor on the glass.