Plain and simple: R.J. Barrett wants to be a New York Knick.
The Duke standout worked out for the team on Monday, and afterward noted that The Mecca is where he wants to begin his NBA career.
"This is the place I want to be, so I hope they draft me," Barrett told reporters after the workout session.
Barrett is confirming what we have already heard from people close to him about wanting to play in New York. SNY's Ian Begley spoke to his long-time coach Dwayne Washington, who noted Barrett is ready to take on everything New York has to offer. Whether it is the harsh media atmosphere or the high pressure of winning again in MSG, he's prepared to lead the way.
R.J. Barrett won't be meeting with any other teams, and says that he wants to be a Knick:- SNY (@SNYtv) June 10, 2019
"This is the place I want to be, I hope they draft me" pic.twitter.com/E1i11C1C17
"RJ can take criticism. He's been in the media his whole life. He answers tough questions. He knew the spotlight would be on him (throughout high school and college)," Washington said. "And he wants New York! You've got guys running from New York. You've got guys that don't want that heat; they don't want the fire. They don't want the high expectations.
"You've got (players) who want to go to small towns so they can hide, make their money, cost of living is low and they're good. No, not RJ. He wants to be in New York."
Barrett also noted that he wouldn't be working out for any other teams following this one with the Knicks. Since the NBA Combine in Chicago, the Knicks were actually Barrett's only official visit to the team. So, after going through dribbling and shooting drills today, the 6-foot-7 lefty guard is confident that he will be one of the top selected prospects on the June 20 Draft.
Last season with Duke, Barrett was a beast, averaging 22.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 4.3 assists while shooting 45.4 percent from the field. While the Knicks would need to develop his game more, Barrett has already showcased his natural ability to score at all levels on the floor, work extremely well out of the pick and roll, and defend numerous positions on the floor with his frame.
That's what he was trying to show the Knicks in his workout.
"Really I can do everything on the court: Pass, shoot, dribble. Just trying to show them that," he said.
We still have to wait to see if the Knicks' desire matches Barrett's in bringing the rookie to New York. But after his workout today and a dinner later tonight with team brass, Barrett may convince them to make him a true lock with the No. 3 overall pick.