NBA Scouting Report: RJ Barrett
  • Tirdod Behbehani

NBA Scouting Report: RJ Barrett


(Photo: Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

RJ Barrett

Position: Guard/Wing

School: Duke

Measurables: 6’7”, 202 lbs, 6’10” wingspan

Lateral Quickness: 8.50

Exceptional lateral foot speed. Lightning-quick first step. This is the origin of his shot creation prowess

Speed and Athleticism: 5.00

Electric in transition, led NCAA in transition scoring. However, not as successful against set defenses. Doesn't have the downhill acceleration to blow by his man off the dribble

Ball Handling: 5.50

Almost always goes left, poor dribbling to his right. High dribble, ball is often exposed. Can be exploited with longer, smarter defenders at next level. Doesn't really have an array of advanced dribble moves in his arsenal

Decent crossover is about it. He tends to go behind the back with regularity when driving, which slows him down. Needs to learn how to put his man in jail due to lack of north-south speed

Passing: 6.80

Good passer on the perimeter, especially in PnR. Can be a high-quality playmaker when he wants to be. Poor at making post entry pass. Struggles to pass off the dribble

Free Throws: 6.70

Underwhelming FT shooter, only shoots 67% from the line with a .319FTrate. Would expect him to draw more fouls given his usage and play style

Outside Shooting: 6.00

Average outside shooter, only shot 31% from 3 on the season. Fair amount of his misses are to the left and right as opposed to the center of the rim, which is a bit worrying. Struggles shooting the 3 off the dribble, only hit 24% of his attempts. Inability to hit the pull-up 3, or efficiently hit the 3 altogether, could put a ceiling on him

Mid-Range Game: 6.50

Despite some impressive makes, low efficiency mid-range game. 17th percentile in mid-range jumpers per Synergy Sports. Most of his mid-range shots are off-balance off-the-dribble jumpers, which explains poor efficiency. Needs to be more consistent here

Decision Making: 4.00

Very much a mixed bag. On the perimeter, he can make early reads and hit his man in stride. In the PnR, he excels at identifying a late weak-side tag and drops the ball into the roller. However, he also suffers from poor shot selection and tunnel vision. Once he dribbles inside the arc, he's more likely than to shoot the ball, regardless of how well guarded he is or if there is an open man on the perimeter. Hinders him from making teammates better. Needs to be a better team player

Finishing: 5.00

Struggles finishing through contact consistently. When dribbling right, needs to go back to his left hand to finish, even if it greatly increases the shot's degree of difficulty. Can be out of control

Post Up: 6.50

Doesn't post-up regularly, but does so efficiently when he does. Understands how to use his length and how to seal out his man for a easy entry lob

Off-Ball Play: 5.00

Kind of just floats around the floor waiting to get the ball in his hands. Decent catch and shoot jump shooter, although remains plagued by low efficiency here. Doesn't really offer anything as a cutter or shooting off screens

Screen Usage: 6.50

Functions well as a ball handler in the PnR and understands coverages. Doesn't shoot well off screens however, merely sits in the 22nd percentile per Synergy Sports here. Especially poor moving right here, only in the 16th percentile with seven makes on 23 attempts

Shot Form: 7.00

Quick release, doesn't need much time to load. Really like how he's always in position to catch and shoot - he bends his knees so he can spring right into a jumper. Actually has some really clean shooting mechanics, his feet are always shoulder-width apart and his elbow is right in line with his body. Misses most of his shots long however, possibly attributed to heavy wrist flex. Overall though, his shooting form offers promise for greater outside shooting accuracy at the next level

Rebounding: 6.50

Solid 17.2 DRB%. Doesn't get a lot of contested rebounds, but is well positioned to get his fair share of boards. Grab-and-go rebounder, looks to push the pace. Allows him to get in transition quickly. Can fall asleep at times here, will give up inside position and not recognize opposition crashing the glass

Defensive Effectiveness: 5.00

His competitiveness and intensity almost completely dissipates on the defensive end. Tends to just go through the motions and lacks effort. Often closes out too hard and leaves his feet too easily. Poor going through screens. Sometimes just doesn't contest shots, even if he's the primary defender. Does offer some promise though due to his lateral quickness. When he's engaged (rarely), he's able to stay in front due to his lateral speed and make life difficult for his man due to his length

Steals/Disruptiveness: 4.00

Should be much more disruptive than he is given his physical tools, only wields a 2.5 Stock%. Attributed to falling asleep when he isn't an on-ball defender and rarely taking chances

Leadership Ability: 5.00

Has an alpha presence about him. However, it's unclear if that ego will help or hurt him in the long run

Versatility: 5.00

Should be versatile, switchable given his size and length. However, struggles when he's switched onto a bigger defender on the interior, just gets bullied down low. Byproduct of lack of defensive focus. Still, the tools are there

Intangibles: 6.50

Work Ethic, Passion

Strengths:

Lateral Speed, Shot Creation, Transition Offense

Weaknesses:

Efficient Scoring and Shot Selection, Defensive Intensity, Decision Making and Consistent Playmaking

Overall Analysis:

RJ Barrett is one of the more polarizing prospects in the 2019 NBA Draft. He puts up points in a hurry, albeit at poor efficiency. He makes some breathtaking passes, but he will just as easily look off open shooters for a contested shot of his own. In my opinion, in order to be a successful NBA player, he will need to be drafted by a healthy and respected organization that is on him about his efficiency and decision-making and gets him to buy into their system. With that being said, I see him as a low-efficiency high-volume scorer on a fringe playoff team. However, if he hones out his tunnel vision and augments his 3-point percentage, then he does have All-Star potential. Given that he's only 18 years old, it's very possible that he is able to reach that ceiling. The potential is there, the question is if he can learn how to use it to make his teammates better. All in all, he should be a Top-6 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft

Pro Comparison:

Andrew Wiggins with vision

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