Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
RJ Barrett isn't working out or meeting for any team other than the Knicks before the NBA Draft on June 20.
"This is the place I want to be. I hope they draft me," Barrett said after working out for New York on Monday.
Barrett, an 18-year-old freshman from Duke, will likely be available for the Knicks when they select third on draft night. And he's confident that he can handle the pressure that comes with playing in the Big Apple.
"I feel like I love it. I'd embrace it," Barrett said. "I'd embrace New York. I'd give it my all. Really, that's all I can say. I'd give it everything I have."
It's unclear if New York will end up making the pick, though.
The Knicks have spoken to New Orleans about a potential Anthony Davis trade recently, SNY sources confirm.
New York may have to send out the No. 3 pick in any deal for Davis. ESPN, which first reported New York's conversation with New Orleans, said the Pelicans do not appear to be enamored by any one team's offer and are looking at multi-team packages.
It is unclear if New York has offered the No. 3 pick in any discussions with New Orleans, but it would seem like a prerequisite to any Davis deal. Davis, a free agent next summer, would strongly consider re-signing with the Knicks if he felt he could win there, per SNY sources.
A trade for Davis is appealing to the Knicks for many reasons, particularly because acquiring him would presumably help their chances of landing a top free agent like Kevin Durant or Kawhi Leonard.
As is the case this time of year, there is rampant uncertainty and speculation about which way free agency will go. But regardless of what happens with the Knicks in free agency, Barrett has the potential to be a valuable young addition to the club.
The 6-foot-7 forward averaged 22.6 points, 4.3 assists and 7.6 rebounds as a freshman -- the first player in NCAA history to have at least 850 points, 250 rebounds and 150 assists in a season.
On the possibility of being traded by New York, Barrett said, "I can't control what happens. So I'd definitely be happy to play anywhere. I've always wanted to make it to the NBA and be on a team, so whatever team drafts me, I'm going to be happy with."
Barrett has strong ties to New York. His mother, Kesha, grew up in Brooklyn and ran track at St. John's. His father, Rowan, played basketball at St. John's. He played a lot of pickup basketball in Brooklyn growing up.
"I remember it was a lot of fun. I was the young guy and they tried to push me around. It was a great experience," he said.
He hasn't talked to his parents about the possibility of playing in New York, though.
"They don't want to talk about it," he said. "We don't talk about anything until it's a done deal."
Here's Barrett on a few other topics
Describing his game:
"I'm a big guard, inside and out. Gotta use that to my advantage. Definitely watching how James Harden and Kawhi and LeBron (James), those guys play. They're unstoppable so try to be like them."
Playing at Madison Square Garden:
"It's great. I love playing in The Garden. My dad used to tell me stories about playing here. So to see that crowd, it's crazy."
His relationship with Kevin Knox and other Knicks:
"He's cool. I grew up playing against him. Allonzo Trier's my guy. We've been chopping it up. It's definitely cool."
On his Knicks visit, which included a dinner with some members of the organization on Monday night:
"It's great. Great organization. Cool people. We had great conversations. It's going well. ... They just put me through some stuff handling the ball (during the workout), some shooting stuff."