Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Kevin Boyle: Montverde’s R.J. Barrett ‘should be the No. 1 pick in two years’
Now that R.J. Barrett has reclassified to the Class of 2018, his high school coach says he should be the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
One mock draft currently has the 6-foot-7 Barrett listed as the No. 2 pick in 2019 behind Marvin Bagley III, but if Bagley reclassifies and goes to college this year he would be in the mix for No. 1 in 2018.
“He’s right in that class [with the other top picks I have coached],” Montverde (FL) Academy coach Kevin Boyle said of Barrett on The 4 Quarters Podcast. “Most of the guys [who become superstars] are all those wing guys that end up better in these drafts over the years. That’s why I’m saying he should be the number one pick in two years.”
The move by Barrett — and the potential move by Bagley — could spell good news for teams like the Knicks who could be in position to benefit in the next couple of years.
We want to “take advantage of the fact that we have draft picks moving forward,” Knicks President Steve Millssaid recently.
Boyle, a former Naismith National Coach of the Year award winner, has coached multiple former top-3 NBA picks, including Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons, Michael Kidd-Gilchrest, Joel Embiid, and D’Angelo Russell.
Barrett was named MVP of the FIBA U19 World Cup last month after leading Canada to its first-ever gold medal. He then took the rest of July off before announcing his decision to reclass.
He will now enter the recruiting cycle for 2017-18, with schools like Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, Arizona, Michigan and Oregon hot on his tail. His father, Rowan Barrett, said no visits have currently been planned.
Boyle said Barrett’s game is tailor-made for the NBA.
“[Today’s NBA is about] spreading the floor and shooters are leaving the lane open,” Boyle said. “If you can shoot, you’re getting a ton of money and it really opens the floor for a slicer, driver like R.J.”
Follow Adam Zagoria on Twitter
Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.