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New York Knicks

NBA Summer League 2019: What we saw from New York Knicks rookie RJ Barrett

Summer League has come to an end for the New York Knicks, meaning we'll have to wait several months to see Canadian rookie RJ Barrett on an NBA court again.

Before we do, what did we see from the No. 3 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft in the Las Vegas Summer League?

Stats

Barrett played in all five of New York's games in the Las Vegas Summer League. He averaged 15.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 0.8 blocks in 30.0 minutes per game.

Barrett was the team's third-leading scorer, although one of the players ahead of him (Allonzo Trier) played in only one game.

Strengths

Barrett did the bulk of his scoring in the paint. He's capable of playing through contact and he's a crafty finisher, already using euro steps to get around stationary defenders in the paint.

Barrett flashed potential as a passer, mostly in New York's final game when he dished out 10 assists while committing only two turnovers. He found Knicks centre Mitchell Robinson a couple of times out of the pick-and-roll and made numerous kickouts to the team's shooters when the defence collapsed on his drives.

One of the big criticisms of Barrett coming out college is that he gets tunnel vision on drives, leading to forced shots and turnovers. It's something he still struggled with at times in Summer League, but he's proven he can make simple reads.

Barrett knocked down two of his four 3-point attempts in New York's Summer League finale, one of which came off of a screen, the other off of a standstill. His ability to make outside shots is considered to be one of his swing skills, so it was an encouraging sign for him to end Summer League on.

Weaknesses

Efficiency was a problem for Barrett. Not only did he shoot 33.7 percent from the field and 24.1 percent from 3-point range, he made just over half (54.5 percent) of his free throw attempts.

Barrett did improve as Summer League went on, however, going 19-for-44 (43.2 percent) from the field, 5-for-16 (31.3 percent) from the perimeter and 16-for-22 (72.7 percent) from the free throw line in the team's final three games.

Turnovers were also a problem at times for Barrett. In a loss to the Phoenix Suns in overtime, for example, he turned the ball over eight times, limiting him to only one assist.

Role

Barrett might be best suited as a secondary playmaker in the NBA, giving a team someone who can play with and without the ball in their hands. His ability to do both will be important on a Knicks team that has talent in the backcourt in the likes of Kevin Knox, Allonzo Trier, Dennis Smith Jr. and Elfrid Payton.

At his size with his skill, Barrett has the potential to be a primary playmaker depending on how he develops as a scorer and passer.

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