It appears things are going well so far for RJ Barrett with the New York Knicks. While it’s only been days since the 2019 NBA Draft, Barrett has been welcomed with open arms and seems happy with his new home. So much so, that he’s already eyeing the potential to recruit free agents down the line.
Specifically, Barrett mentioned the idea of recruiting his former Duke Blue Devils teammate and No. 1 overall pick, Zion Williamson. In a comment which the New Orleans Pelicans surely won’t love, Barrett said on The Michael Kay Show that he hopes to be on the same team as Zion one day and that he’ll “recruit him,” per theScore.
“Hopefully, one day we’ll be on the same team. That’s my brother, I’ll try and recruit him over.” Barrett said.
Not surprisingly, many fans chimed in on the Instagram post and immediately commented that Barrett was “tampering” with his statement about Williamson. Obviously, these comments were likely just the talented 19-year-old showing some love to his close friend and being brutally honest while addressing a question on the minds of many fans.
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RJ Barrett’s Outlook With Knicks, Stats With Duke
While many Knicks fans were obviously disappointed they didn’t land the No. 1 pick and the chance to draft Williamson, there’s no question that Barrett is a great addition. The 6-foot-7 forward played 38 games during his lone season with the Blue Devils, averaging 22.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. He shot 45.4 percent from the field and stepped up nicely when Zion was sidelined due to a knee injury.
Williamson suffered his injury in February against the North Carolina Tar Heels, missing that game and five others before returning for the conference tournament. Over that stretch, Barrett tallied 19 or more points in every game while scoring 33 points with 13 rebounds in the first matchup against UNC. He also tallied 26 points with 12 boards in the second meeting with the Tar Heels, which came in Duke’s final regular-season game.
Zion Williamson Says New Orleans Is ‘Home’
Although Knicks fans have to love hearing that Barrett plans to recruit Zion down the line, which obviously can’t happen for multiple years, the Pelicans forward threw some cold water on that. In comments not related to what Barrett said, Williamson told reporters that New Orleans feels like home and that he’s “ready to stay,” as Andrew Lopez of NOLA.com reported.
“You know it’s crazy,” Williamson told reporters. “I was in my hotel room and I looked out the window and I was like, ‘This is my home.’ I don’t know why I just got one of those gut feelings and it was all right, ‘This is my home. I’m ready to stay here.’”
With the Pelicans trading Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers after he requested to be moved, this has to be music to the ears of the team’s front office. While it doesn’t lock anything in longterm, fans in New Orleans have a reason to feel good about their future, both in 2019 and for many years to come.