Knicks' Kevin Knox Praises 'Great Player' RJ Barrett Amid 2019 NBA Draft Rumors

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJune 9, 2019

Duke forward RJ Barrett (5) reacts after scoring against Michigan State during the first half of an NCAA men's East Regional final college basketball game in Washington, Sunday, March 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/Associated Press

If the New York Knicks draft RJ Barrett later this month as most expect, Kevin Knox is already excited for his new teammate.

"That's my guy—I played against him a couple of times in high school," Knox said, per Marc Berman of the New York Post. "He's a great player. If I can get a chance to play with him, it would be a great opportunity."

The top three of the 2019 draft has essentially been settled, with the New Orleans Pelicans taking Zion Williamson, the Memphis Grizzlies following with Ja Morant and the Knicks adding Barrett to their young core. Most view this class as having a "Big Three," with a large group of players a step down following them.

"If we get the opportunity [to be teammates], I think we'd jell really well," Knox said. "He's a great player. He can pass well, score the ball well. I think we'd complement each other."

Barrett was considered the top player coming out of the 2018 high school class but was overshadowed by Williamson, a generational superstar in the making. He nevertheless set the ACC freshman scoring record; only Trae Young, Kevin Durant and Michael Beasley have had higher-scoring freshman seasons in NCAA history.

"Hey, if it happens, I'm definitely ready...biggest thing is my confidence. I'm built for this. I've been workin' since I was young, so I'm not really worried," Barrett said on ESPN's First Take when asked about the Knicks.

Of course, it's possible Knox and Barrett wind up teammates elsewhere. The Knicks are expected to enter the Anthony Davis sweepstakes this summer, which would likely require them using Barrett and Knox as trade bait. That would pair them with Williamson and give New Orleans one of the most promising young cores in basketball.

Ultimately, it's likely Knox and Barrett are teammates somewhere next season. If they are, the Knicks/Pelicans/whoever will have their wing on lock for the foreseeable future.