Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Mid-range DeMar DeRozan. James Worthy in transition. Joe Ingles-like IQ.
Scouts invoked the names of these players and others when talking about potential pro player comparisons for presumptive No. 3 pick RJ Barrett.
Barrett worked out for New York on Monday and said he hopes the club drafts him. He's the most likely target for the Knicks, if they keep the pick.
With that in mind, here are what some talent evaluators/coaches had to say when talking about pro comparisons for the 18-year-old Barrett.
"In terms of him reaching a certain level of player, I can see a (DeMar DeRozan) level. Basically, a borderline All-Star (or bottom-tier All-Star). Barrett is a better passer at the same stage, but Derozan's shot had more versatility due to form and more athleticism in the half court. Both are incredibly hard workers, and RJ coming in with a higher skill floor helps him, but his lack of athleticism limits his overall ceiling."
Bryan Oringher, former Wizards video coordinator and advanced scout with the Hawks and Raptors:
"Barrett is not James Harden. He isn't DeRozan. He isn't Tracy McGrady. Throw those outlandish comparisons out the window, because he isn't anywhere near that good. Still, that doesn't mean Barrett can't be a really good pro. ... It's rare to find a scoring wing have multiple games with over 10 assists like Barrett did.
"Though not considered a (point guard), I see a guy who can play some point forward at the next level, in the mold of a Joe Ingles or Nic Batum. He plays the game with a terrific pace, reads [pick-and-rolls] well, stays under control and makes the right, simple pass almost every time. ... Although listed at 6-foot-7, RJ plays and looks a bit smaller than that. I view him more of a (shooting guard) at the next level, and I'm not positive he's a starter.
"I think he compares more to a guy like Rodney Hood: a solid, albeit inconsistent wing who can play some point forward, hit some shots, but doesn't do anything exceptionally well. I see some Kelly Oubre in him: a heavily (left-hand)-dominant guy who plays in pretty straight lines. I think Ingles is kind of his best model and peak: a heady 2-guard who can play out of PNRs, knock down shots, do the simple high-IQ things, and contribute to winning."
Dave Zenon, NBA/NCAA skills trainer:
"RJ Barrett reminds me a lot of several players in the league, both past and present. His frame and his skillset are tremendous. At 6-foot-7 with a 6-foot-9 wingspan, he's very long. His ability to use his long strides in transition and get to the basket is impressive. Obviously he's not as tall (yet) but he can get into transition like James Worthy. RJ has a nose for getting the ball into the basket and gets to the rim when need be. DeMar DeRozan is a mid-range threat; so is RJ in the half-court set. With similar size and ability, DeRozan and Barrett both can score from the mid range.
"As a lefty who can drive to the rim, the comparison to James Harden is apparent. However, he doesn't shoot as well as Harden does quite yet. He can put the ball on the floor and create but not as much as Harden does at the moment. He's also going to be bigger than Harden, but the ability to get to the rim, facilitate, read the defense and various ways to score all point that way. I'd love to see RJ become a threat from 3 because he can do just about everything else. Knicks fans should be very excited if RJ Barrett is a New York Knick next season."