Trae Young was pretty dreadful early on in the NBA Summer League last year, causing some Atlanta Hawks fans to panic a bit about their decision to pass on Luka Doncic, trade back and select the former Oklahoma star.
The No. 5 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft went on to have a brilliant rookie season, averaging 19/8/3 and giving Atlanta some serious optimism about the future.
The lesson: Don’t overreact to Summer League performances.
So, with that out of the way, let’s now take a look at how RJ Barrett has been performing for the New York Knicks in Las Vegas.
It’s been bad.
Barrett, the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s draft, has had a brutal start to his NBA career. He’s 7 for 33 from the field, with 10 turnovers and two assists in two games, playing 69 combined minutes.
Let’s just say my concerns about RJ Barrett coming in (lack of explosiveness, shot form and tendency to force things) have not exactly been alleviated.
— Robin Lundberg (@robinlundberg) July 6, 2019
Again, it’s early, and it’s just Summer League. It might not mean anything. As said earlier, players can have brutal Summer League performances and go on to have great rookie seasons.
Still, Barrett hasn’t given Knicks fans much reason for excitement – yet, anyway.
RJ Barrett so selfish 🤦🏽♂️ Knox done hit three threes but RJ rather shoot a contested fall away Jumper pic.twitter.com/GxJw3mayRf
— KOLBE (@_killakolbe) July 6, 2019
Barrett, who hadn’t played in a game since March, and has had to deal with all of the off-court appearances that come with being a top NBA Draft pick, is staying level-headed.
“I’ve been working hard all summer, getting in great shape,” Barrett said. “There’s nothing you can do to simulate a game like that. So, sure, I haven’t played a game in three months. I was fine. Shots didn’t fall, but I’m good.”
The Knicks are set to play their third Summer League game on Tuesday against the Raptors.