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#pounditSunday, May 22, 2022

Articles tagged: RJ Barrett

Top 3 picks in NBA Draft all cried in interview with parents after being picked

Zion Williamson crying

The top three picks in the 2019 NBA Draft went as expected, but the drama came in the post-selection interviews with ESPN’s Maria Taylor. Zion Williamson, Ja Morant, and RJ Barrett all cried when talking about what their parents meant to them and their success.

Here is Zion Williamson getting emotional upon becoming the top pick in the draft and thinking of the sacrifices his mother made for him.

Next up after the New Orleans Pelicans took Williamson No. 1 was the Memphis Grizzlies, who picked Ja Morant second. Morant got emotional thinking about all the work his father put in with him.

And the third pick was RJ Barrett by the New York Knicks. He cried on the shoulder of his father, Rowan Barrett.

Seeing the emotion from the players and how much their parents meant to their success was endearing. Getting drafted — especially at the top of the NBA Draft — is the realization of dreams for many of these players.

Zion Williamson, Ja Morant, RJ Barrett expected to go 1-2-3 in draft

Zion Williamson

The top of the 2019 NBA Draft appears to be finalized hours before the draft takes place.

Zion Williamson has long been expected to go No. 1 overall, while the Grizzlies have been tied to Ja Morant ever since winning the No. 2 pick in the lottery. RJ Barrett has also been expected to be picked by the Knicks at No. 3.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Thursday that those picks are already set, meaning the mystery won’t begin until the New Orleans Pelicans pick at No. 4.

Players like Darius Garland, Coby White, and De’Andre Hunter have been mentioned as potential picks at No. 4. New Orleans also has been interested in trading that pick.

The real fun will begin with that fourth pick.

Report: Pelicans in all-out effort to trade up for RJ Barrett

RJ Barrett

Zion Williamson might not be the only Duke star that the New Orleans Pelicans land in this year’s draft.

Veteran basketball writer Peter Vecsey reported Wednesday that the Pelicans are engaged in an “all-out effort” to trade up to the No. 2 draft slot (currently occupied by the Memphis Grizzlies) in order to select RJ Barrett. Such a package would feature, among other assets, the No. 4 overall pick that they acquired in principle from the Los Angeles Lakers for Anthony Davis.

The Pelicans also hold the No. 1 overall pick and are all but guaranteed to select Williamson, who played with Barrett at Duke.

Barrett himself has a different destination in mind, but the opportunity to run it back with his old teammate in New Orleans might just be enough to win him over if the Pelicans can somehow pull this off.

Report: Knicks still ‘locked in’ on RJ Barrett third overall

RJ Barrett

Despite late rumblings of going in a different direction, the New York Knicks are still reportedly targeting Duke’s RJ Barrett with the third overall pick.

The Knicks had a late workout with Vanderbilt guard Darius Garland, but according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, they remain intent on taking Barrett third overall.

Some late rumors had the Knicks springing a surprise in the form of Garland with the No. 3 pick, and the fact that they worked him out this close to draft day was only going to intensify that chatter. There may have been interest, and it may have been legitimate, but ultimately, they’ve been zeroed in on Barrett all along.

Report: Pelicans have considered moving up to No. 2 to draft RJ Barrett

RJ Barrett

Ja Morant is widely considered to be the second-best player in the NBA Draft behind top prospect Zion Williamson, but there is apparently at least one scenario that could unfold that would see Morant fall past the No. 2 pick.

The New Orleans Pelicans currently hold the No. 4 pick, and there have been numerous reports that they are exploring options to trade it. According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, one possibility they have considered is making a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies to move up to the No. 2 spot, where they would select former Duke swingman RJ Barrett.

If that happened, it would leave the New York Knicks to take Morant third overall. One executive who is familiar with the Knicks’ thinking heading into the draft told Berman that they are sticking with No. 3 and would be “delighted” to take Morant or Barrett. They were previously open to moving back if they were blown away with an offer, but that appears unlikely to happen.

Barrett has openly said that he wants to play for the Knicks, and he has even refused to work out for any other team. Morant emerged as a superstar in his sophomore season at Murray State last year, averaging 24.5 points, 10.0 assists and 1.8 steals per game. Aside from the Pelicans, we have not heard of a team preferring Barrett over Morant.

The Pelicans believe they will be in playoff contention next season even after trading Anthony Davis, and they are said to be speaking with several teams about potential trades leading up to Thursday’s draft.

RJ Barrett says he will only meet with Knicks

RJ Barrett

The first three picks of the NBA Draft appear to be settling into place thanks to another pronunciation from a top prospect.

RJ Barrett completed his visit with the New York Knicks on Monday. The Knicks hold the No. 3 pick, Barrett should be available, and the former Duke standout made it quite clear that he wants to be drafted there and won’t be visiting with any other teams.

Barrett turned down the opportunity to work out for the Memphis Grizzlies, who hold the No. 2 pick in the draft. They’re probably going to take Ja Morant after the New Orleans Pelicans make Zion Williamson the first pick, leaving Barrett to get his dream move to New York third overall. It increasingly seems like a foregone conclusion.

RJ Barrett reportedly set for visit with Knicks

RJ Barrett

The likely No. 3 overall pick in the NBA Draft is set to visit his future home.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, RJ Barrett is set to visit the New York Knicks early next week to do a light workout and familiarize himself with the organization.

Barrett is said to be so set on the Knicks that he’s ducking the team picking second. The interest is mutual, and it’s exceedingly likely that he’ll be the pick on June 20.

Report: RJ Barrett declining to work out for Grizzlies

RJ Barrett

Projected top NBA draft pick RJ Barrett is reportedly avoiding the workout requests from one team that has some interest in him.

According to Jonathan Givony of ESPN, the Memphis Grizzlies, who hold the No. 2 overall pick, have sought to bring Barrett in for a private workout. Barrett, however, has declined, though he may ultimately change his mind before the draft takes place.

Memphis is thought to prefer Ja Morant with the No. 2 pick, but are clearly assessing their options anyway. Barrett, however, would reportedly prefer to avoid Memphis, with the Knicks — and the opportunity to play in New York — lurking just one pick later.

While there is fundamentally not a lot Barrett could do to avoid getting selected by Memphis, throwing up obstacles in their attempts to work him out is one way he could try to make the Grizzlies sour on him a bit, assuming they didn’t already prefer someone else.

Cavs reportedly want to trade up for RJ Barrett

RJ Barrett

The Cleveland Cavaliers may be zeroing in on their next potential superstar.

Appearing Friday on 92.3 The Fan’s “Bull & Fox,” Cleveland’s.com Joe Vardon reported that the Cavs have “supreme interest” in trading up to draft 18-year-old RJ Barrett and believe they have the assets to do so. Vardon specifically notes the team’s confidence in their ability to move JR Smith’s expiring deal.

Barrett, who put up 22.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 4.3 assists a contest in his lone season at Duke, is one of the blue-chippers in this year’s class and is unlikely to still be on the board after the New York Knicks select at No. 3. Cleveland, meanwhile, holds the No. 5 overall pick.

That said, Barrett appears to prefer a big-market landing spot, so he might not be thrilled about the possibility of ending up in Northeast Ohio.

RJ Barrett would reportedly prefer if Grizzlies pass on him at No. 2

RJ Barrett

RJ Barrett is considered by most to be the third-best player in the upcoming NBA Draft, but the Memphis Grizzlies could entertain the possibility of taking him instead of Murray State’s Ja Morant with the second overall pick. Believe it or not, Barrett would reportedly prefer to go lower than No. 2.

According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, Barrett is hoping the Grizzlies pass on him so he can play for either the New York Knicks, who have the third pick, or the Los Angeles Lakers, who pick at No. 4. Barrett has deep roots in New York, as his father played basketball for St. John’s and mother ran track there in the 1990s.

Barring any trades within the first few picks, it seems highly likely that Barrett will get his wish. The Grizzlies are said to be zeroed in on Morant with the No. 2 pick, and the only way that might change is if the Knicks decide they also want Morant and try to swap picks.

While it would be a shock if Barrett slipped outside the top three, the Lakers may not be at No. 4 for very long. They have openly said they will explore the trade value of the pick.

Along with consensus top overall pick Zion Williamson and Cam Reddish, Barrett is one of three former Duke players that could be selected in the top 10.