2019 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: R.J. Barrett
Position: Small forward
Age: 18 (turns 19 in June)
Max vertical: N/A
2018/19 stats: 22.6 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 4.3 apg, 0.9 spg, 0.4 bpg, 45.4 FG% (8.4/18.5), 30.8 3PT% (1.9/6.2), 66.5 FT%
Player comparison: DeMar DeRozan, Eddie Jones
Projections: NBC Sports Washington 2nd, NBADraft.net 3rd, Bleacher Report 3rd, Sports Illustrated 3rd, Ringer 2nd
5 things to know:
*Barrett is likely to go in the top three picks this June. He is a prototypical small forward at 6-foot-7 with the athletic potential of a future All-Star. He has strong play-making skills with the ability to create off the dribble and pass. He is also a plus-rebounder for his position.
*Despite having what appear to be smooth shooting mechanics, Barrett's percentages plummeted in college. He shot just 30.8 percent from three and 66.5 percent from the free throw line. Efficiency is super important these days at the NBA level, and Barrett will have to prove that he can be more than just a volume shooter. That will also help determine whether he can be effective off the ball.
*Many have raved about Barrett's competitiveness. He was described by the Ringer as an "alpha Andrew Wiggins." SB Nation called his playing style "relentless." If that ultimately proves the case and he keeps that edge as a professional, that should bode well for his chances of NBA stardom.
*Though his college teammate Zion Williamson emerged as the top pro prospect for the upcoming draft, Barrett was the No. 1 ranked player coming out of high school by most outlets, including ESPN and Rivals. He was a McDonald's All-American and the Gatorade national player of the year.
*Barrett is originally from Ontario and has strong roots in Canadian basketball. His father is the executive vice president of Team Canada, and his godfather is Steve Nash. His dad played college ball at St. John's and then professionally overseas. His mother ran track at St. John's.
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