Doyle: I Have Two Major Concerns About R.J. Barrett

Tim Doyle explains why NBA stardom is no guarantee for the Knicks' No. 3 pick

Taz and the Moose
June 21, 2019 - 10:23 am
R.J. Barrett New York Knicks NBA Draft

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Many NBA analysts believed Thursday night was a three-player draft: Zion, Ja, and R.J.

Well, CBS Sports college basketball analyst Tim Doyle is big on Williamson and Morant. He has concerns, however, about Barrett – two in particular.

“I don’t think he’s an incredible athlete, and I don’t think he’s a knockdown shooter,” Doyle said on Taz & The Moose. “He only shot 30 percent from three, so I think he’s going to be somewhere in between a Marvin Williams and a Rudy Gay. Both of those guys have had 10-plus-year careers, they’ve made hundreds of millions of dollars, but I don’t think either one of those guys (are must-haves).”

Barrett was a first-team All-American at Duke, set the ACC freshman scoring record (860 points), and scored the second most points by a Duke player in a single season, trailing only J.J Redick’s 941 in 2006.

“I think R.J. Barrett is going to score, maybe average 14, 15 points a game. He may take 13, 14 shots,” Doyle said. “I just think he has a long way to go. When you play small forward in the NBA, you got to be wildly athletic. We’re talking about guys like Paul George and LeBron James and Kevin Durant – you’re talking about crazy-freak athletes. He’s not that.”

Barrett, 6-7, is a smooth athlete, but perhaps not an explosive one. That doesn’t mean he won’t succeed in the NBA; it just means he’s going to have to work harder.

“He’s got great size and strength, and he used those things at the college level very effectively,” Doyle said. “When you get to the NBA, everybody has that. So he lacks that explosiveness that Zion has. R.J. just doesn’t have it. So he’s going to have to (go from) a 30-percent shooter in college from three and make it like a 40-percent shooter in the NBA. That’s going to mean a lot of hours in the gym and a lot of work on his game. Can he do that? Yes. But he’s going to have to make himself an unbelievable, knockdown, wide-open shooter. Like, it has to go in all the time.”

Click below to listen to Doyle’s interview in its entirety.