The 2019 NBA Draft is rapidly approaching and the story at the top has remained the same as all expectations are that Zion Williamson will be the No. 1 pick followed by Ja Morant and RJ Barrett as the next two picks in that order.
It is assumed that Morant will go No. 2 to the Memphis Grizzlies while Barrett is expected to land with the New York Knicks at No. 3.
And apparently, that is the way Barrett prefers it to go as he revealed to reporters following his workout with them.
Barrett spoke to reporters after meeting with and working out for the Knicks and said that he won’t be meeting with any other teams, via SNY.tv:
“I won’t be meeting with any other teams so it’s this and then the draft […] If that ends up that I’m still there at 3, for sure I would love for them to take me […] This is the place I wanna be so I hope they draft me.”
Of course just because that is what Barrett prefers doesn’t mean it’s the way things will go. The Grizzlies could decide they prefer Barrett over Morant or the Knicks might want to take someone else as they have done their due diligence on a number of prospects.
In fact, it was even rumored that Jarrett Culver might be considered to be taken over Barrett at No. 3, according to Sean Deveney of Sporting News:
Rumors have even cropped up about the Knicks considering Culver over Barrett with the No. 3 pick. At the least, the Knicks will weigh the option.
Playing under the bright lights and media pressure that New York presents is something that not everyone can handle. Much like with the Los Angeles Lakers, playing for the Knicks is another level of scrutiny and cause issues for many players. For someone to embrace that the way Barrett has would make him seemingly an obvious choice.
In the end, it is all about who the Knicks feel is the best prospect who could become an All-Star player in New York. Barrett thrived on one of the biggest stages in college basketball at Duke with even more eyes on him than normal thanks to the presence of Williamson.
For the Lakers, this would present an interesting choice should Barrett be available when they come up with the No. 4 pick. Even though he won’t work out with them, the team could decide he’s the best choice. Whether they want to keep him around or use him in a trade later remains to be seen.