The first expected domino has fallen for the Duke Blue Devils with freshman wing RJ Barrett officially declaring for the 2019 NBA Draft. This move was expected and the forward will be forgoing his final three years of college eligibility. He is projected as a top-three selection in the draft.
I want to thank God, my family, my coaches and everyone that has helped me reach this decision ?? pic.twitter.com/z3GwdcV2ht
— Rj Barrett (@RjBarrett6) April 10, 2019
RJ Barrett came into Duke as the number one recruit in the country but was quickly overshadowed by fellow Blue Devils teammate Zion Williamson. The freshman forward had a phenomenal season though and will be an amazing “consolation” prize for the team that lands the second or third selection.
NBA teams are always looking for talent and the freshman has plenty of that. He checks in at 6’7″ and 203 pounds which are ideal for the NBA wing position. The freshman can score and pass with the best of players and can be a force when properly motivated.
RJ Barrett gettin’ in on the fun ?? pic.twitter.com/sMGREN5cdo
— Def Pen Sports (@DefPenSports) March 23, 2019
Duke’s second-star freshman averaged 22.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game in his lone year with the team. The moments he had during the season were simply amazing and he can and likely will provide an immediate impact for an NBA team.
The freshman shined during the season but faced criticism late in close games when he couldn’t quite get the job done. Duke’s Elite Eight loss to Michigan State was one such example of this, but the freshman can easily shake this off with NBA experience.
NBA teams are hoping for Zion, but his teammate is more than capable and will provide quality minutes. He is projected to go second overall in the fourth edition of the Def Pen 2019 NBA Mock Draft.