Knicks doing their due diligence with the #3 overall pick.
The top three picks in the 2019 NBA Draft appear to be a sure thing, with Zion Williamson going first, Ja Morant second and RJ Barrett third. However, it's not a guarantee that the New York Knicks will be keeping that third overall selection.
While the New Orleans Pelicans and Memphis Grizzlies are locked in at one and two, ESPN's Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz report that the Knicks are performing due diligence, as any team should, on the possibility of trading down in the draft for more assets. For instance, the team is reportedly considering trading the #3 pick to the Atlanta Hawks for their #8 and #10 selections.
Although the Knicks are reportedly exploring such options, SNY's Ian Begley reports, "Any potential trade between the Knicks and the Hawks involving their first-round picks is not currently under "serious consideration" by either side, a league source told SNY."
Barrett, who will turn 19 just days before the June 20 draft, is reportedly eager to play for the Knicks. Dwayne Washington, who first trained Barrett when he was 12 years old, and later coached him for several years, tells SNY that the former Blue Devil "wants to be in New York."
"He's been raised with a New York mentality. He's been playing basketball in New York since he was 4 years old," Washington said, referencing Barrett's visits to the city to visit his mother, Resha's, family (Barrett's father, Rowan, played college basketball at St. John's). "He fits in, he's a dog. He's (the kind of player) New York would say, 'Hey, this is what a New Yorker is.' He's an animal."
"You've got (players) who want to go to small towns so they can hide, make their money, cost of living is low and they're good. No, not RJ. He wants to be in New York."