Future Watch: RJ Barrett Rookie Basketball Cards, Knicks

Future Watch: RJ Barrett Rookie Basketball Cards, KnicksFuture Watch: RJ Barrett Rookie Basketball Cards, Knicks RJ Barrett was born in Toronto, Ontario in 2000. His father, Rowan Barrett, played professional basketball in France. RJ lived in a number of countries due to his father’s career and developed a love for basketball at an early age, finding time to shoot around after his father’s games and practices. After his father retired from professional basketball, the family settled in Mississauga, Ontario in 2008. Growing up, RJ was involved in football and track & field along with basketball, but he decided to focus solely on basketball at the age of 12. RJ was lucky to train with Canadian basketball legend Steve Nash, his godfather and Rowan Barrett’s friend.

Under the guidance of his father, RJ Barrett emerged as one of the best under-12 players in Ontario. He trained with the Canada Basketball junior academy and at an under-15 provincial tournament he scored 37 points in a win over Quebec. Barrett began his high school career at St. Marcellinus Secondary School in Mississauga. He earned many accolades that year, including “best prospect” by the Region of Peel Secondary Schools Athletic Association. After the season, he toured top prep schools in the United States and would eventually transfer to Montverde Academy in Montverde, Florida. Known for their decorated basketball program, Barrett chose Montverde in order to “take his game to another level”. Despite a rough transition, Barrett led Montverde in scoring and was named to the MaxPreps Freshman All-American First Team.

RJ Barrett would continue to develop into a top college prospect in his sophomore and junior high school seasons. In 2017-18, he led his school to an undefeated season and helped them win the Geico National boys’ basketball championship. In the championship game, he scored 25 points and grabbed 15 boards. College programs all around the county had their eyes on Barrett, and he received offers from Arizona, Duke, Oregon, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, UCLA and many more. He would eventually commit to Duke for the 2018-19 season.

In his first regular season game for the Blue Devils, Barrett scored 33 points and handed out six assists against the second ranked Kentucky Wildcats in the Champions Classic. This would break Duke’s freshman scoring record for a debut. In a 94-78 win over NC State on February 17th, 2019 he put up a triple-double with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Barrett’s triple double was the fourth in Duke history, and second under Mike Krzyzewski’s tenure as head coach. At the end of Duke’s regular season, Barrett was named a member of both the Sporting News’ All-American First Team and All-ACC First Team alongside Duke teammate Zion Williamson.

At the 2019 NCAA Tournament, Barrett led the Blue Devils in points (26) and rebounds (14) in their first round win over North Dakota State. In their second round defeat of Central Florida, he scored 16 points with eight boards and four assists. Barrett would score 18 points in Duke’s sweet-16 victory over Virginia Tech and in their Elite Eight loss to Michigan State he scored 21 points with six rebounds and six assists. Shortly after the loss, Barrett announced his intention to forgo his final three seasons of college eligibility and declared himself eligible for the 2019 NBA draft.

Future Watch: RJ Barrett Rookie Basketball Cards, Knicks – College Stats

College Table
Totals Shooting Per Game
Season Age College G MP FG FGA 3P 3PA FT FTA ORB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS FG% 3P% FT% MP PTS TRB AST
2018-19 18 DUKE 38 1341 319 702 73 237 149 224 59 288 164 34 16 123 70 860 .454 .308 .665 35.3 22.6 7.6 4.3
Career 38 1341 319 702 73 237 149 224 59 288 164 34 16 123 70 860 .454 .308 .665 35.3 22.6 7.6 4.3
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/17/2019.

Heading into the draft, many scouts saw Barrett as a top-3 pick. Zion Williamson was the obvious top prospect, with Ja Morant right behind. Not many prospects in the draft had a pedigree like Barrett’s who was seen as a top NBA prospect since his freshman season as a prep. Even Williamson didn’t have the hype Barrett had in high school.

Barrett measured in at 6’7” with a 6’10” wingspan before the draft. His size fit the mold for a modern NBA wing. His footwork and ability to create his own shot made him a top scoring prospect among his peers. He can use hop-steps and euro-steps to get into the paint, and he isn’t afraid to fake and pull up for a mid-range look.

Some NBA evaluators questioned Barrett’sdrive” and motor as it seemed he would “take games off” during his freshman season at Duke. Often he would force shots and try to create offense for himself even if the situation called for him to pass. His pull-up from midrange was inconsistent at times which led some scouts to believe his “gunnermentality would take some time to transition to the NBA court. Even with these knocks on his game many around the league saw Barrett as a top option in a second tier of prospects behind Williamson and Morant. On draft night, the New York Knicks selected RJ Barrett with the third overall pick.

Now we get to the part of the story where RJ Barrett is wearing a New York Knicks uniform as a rookie. He should be thrilled. He’s playing in one of the greatest cities and venues in the world. Unfortunately, the Knicks are in a constant state of disarray thanks to their ownership. David Fizdale began the season as the head coach but was fired during a 10-game losing streak. It isn’t even Christmas and the New York Knicks’ season is already lost.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing for RJ Barrett. With no other top prospects on the team, he’ll get plenty of opportunities to put up stats. This year’s current crop of rookies is struggling as a whole and Barrett will probably earn All-Rookie honors. He’s currently averaging 14.2 points (4th among all rookies) with 5.3 boards and 2.9 assists. So far this season his best performance came in a 124-122 overtime win over the Sacramento Kings on December 11th. Barrett scored 22 points and grabbed 10 boards to help his team end a 10-game losing streak.

The sample size is incredibly small, but the Knicks have won three of their last four games. On Tuesday, December 17th, Barrett led the team in scoring with 27 points on 10-of-13 shots as the Knicks beat the Hawks 143-120 at Madison Square Garden.

Collectors should look to hold RJ Barrett’s rookie cards rather than immediately flipping them. With all the attention on Zion Williamson and Ja Morant there will be deals on Barrett’s rookie cards. If you can stomach a Knicks game, watch Barrett and see for yourself. He’s not a bad player and is already a top scoring option for the Knicks. Ever since he was a kid, his goal was to make it to the NBA and become an All-Star. He still has that drive and the potential to reach his goal. On a quick look, his silver prizms from 2019-20 Panini Prizm are selling for around $40-$50. There’s room for growth. Stash some of his rookie cards and hope his environment sees positive change.

Future Watch: RJ Barrett Rookie Basketball Cards, Knicks – NBA Stats

Totals Table
Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2019-20 19 NYK NBA SG 26 26 839 133 347 .383 26 89 .292 107 258 .415 .421 65 119 .546 28 110 138 78 31 12 59 61 357
Career NBA 26 26 839 133 347 .383 26 89 .292 107 258 .415 .421 65 119 .546 28 110 138 78 31 12 59 61 357
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/17/2019.

Future Watch: RJ Barrett Rookie Basketball Cards, Knicks – More Resources

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James Gale