Duke star R.J. Barrett declares for NBA Draft | Zagsblog
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Friday / April 19.
  • Duke star R.J. Barrett declares for NBA Draft

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    Duke star R.J. Barrett has officially declared for the NBA Draft.

    Barrett is expected to sign with agent Bill Duffy.

    The 6-foot-7 product of Mississauga, Ontario is a projected top-3 pick and could go No. 2 behind teammate Zion Williamson.

    Some argue Barrett should be in the mix for No. 1.

    “I would consider R.J. first,” Charles Barkley told me for this New York Times story last month. “His skillset is Jalen Rose, James Harden, somewhere in between there. You can’t tell until you get to the pros.”

    Added former Duke star Grant Hill: “I think folks understand and respect the contributions that R.J.’s made. I think that those that know the game respect what he’s done, what he’s capable of and his potential in the NBA.”

    Barrett averaged 22.6 points and 7.6 rebounds for Duke, which lost to Michigan State in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.

    He was one of 24 Canadians in the NCAA Tournament. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said Barrett, whose Godfather is Steve Nash, could end up being the best Canadian ever.

    “R.J. can be as good as anybody coming from Canada,” Coach K said last month.

    Meantime, Barrett could become the sixth top-3 pick for Montverde (FL) Academy coach Kevin Boyle since 2011. Only Coach K has more.

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, 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.