RJ Barrett Says He'll 'Try and Recruit' Zion Williamson to Knicks in the FutureJune 25, 2019
New York Knicks rookie RJ Barrett didn't even wait until the start of the regular season to test the NBA's tampering rules.
Appearing on ESPN New York's The Michael Kay Show (h/t SNY.tv), Barrett announced he would like to reunite with former Duke teammate Zion Williamson someday.
"Hopefully, one day we'll be on the same team," he said. "That's my brother, I'll try and recruit him over."
The NBA has been very diligent about trying to prevent teams and players from tampering in recent years. All 30 teams received a memo about consequences of tampering from the league last December after LeBron James told reporters it would be "amazing" if the Los Angeles Lakers could acquire Anthony Davis.
The Los Angeles Clippers were fined $50,000 for tampering in May after head coach Doc Rivers heaped praise on Kawhi Leonard during an appearance on ESPN:
There is a way for Barrett and the Knicks to argue no rule was violated if the league attempts to issue a fine. Per ESPN.com's Bobby Marks, NBA tampering rules state "no player, coach or management person may entice or induce a player under contract with another team to play for his team."
Neither Barrett nor Williamson have signed their rookie deals yet, so they aren't technically under contract.
New Orleans Pelicans fans just had to endure a season's worth of concern about Davis wanting to be traded. The last thing they want to think about is their franchise's new superstar potentially leaving already.
Barrett and Williamson figure to be with their current teams for at least the next four years, based on how rookie contracts in the NBA work.
It's understandable Barrett would want to reunite with Williamson. The pair helped make Duke basketball games last season must-see events because of how well they worked off each other.
Williamson won every major individual Player of the Year award. Barrett was a consensus first-team All-American and became the first freshman in ACC history to score at least 800 points in a season.