RJ Barrett is ready for his first game in a Knicks uniform.
The former Duke standout will make his summer league debut in Las Vegas on Friday against the Pelicans. He’ll face off against his close friend Zion Williamson, who also played for the Blue Devils last year and was selected with the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Barrett entered college as the top prospect, but was selected No. 3 overall this year. It appears he’s looking forward to challenging his old teammate.
“It’s funny that my first game ever in a uniform is against my guy so, just really excited to play,” Barrett said Tuesday after practice.
Barrett will have promising young players like Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson and Allonzo Trier around him, but acknowledges he’ll have to find his footing in the world of pro basketball.
“I think it’s a team, we’ve got a squad,” Barrett said. “I’m just a rookie coming in. I’m just trying to learn and do as much as I can to help the team.”
Barrett, 19, averaged 22.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 35.3 minutes per game during his lone season at Duke. He also won the Jerry West Award, which is given to the top shooting guard in college basketball. Williamson averaged 22.6 points and 8.9 rebounds during his freshman season and was named Naismith National College Player of the Year.
Needless to say, Barrett wants to come out on top in this highly anticipated matchup. He’s expected to play a large role for a Knicks team that went 17-65 in 2018-19.
“I definitely want to have a great summer league,” Barrett said. “Really try to show out.”