Knicks rookie R.J. Barrett ‘pressing’ during Summer League

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks rookie No. 3 pick R.J. Barrett has not had a good go of it during his team’s first two Summer League games in Las Vegas.

The former Duke standout has shot just 7-of-33 from the field in those two games, bringing up pre-draft questions about how his game might translate to the pros.

According to one unnamed scout, Barrett is pressing big time during his initial slate of professional games.

“It’s summer league, but there’s a lot of hype and pressure around RJ. He’s talented, but seems to be pressing,” the scout told Marc Berman of the NY Post. “Shooting is his big issue and many factors go into a guy making shots, especially getting used to a new team and new level.”

Barrett shot just 30 percent from distance in his only collegiate season with the Blue Devils. Despite this, the wing was able to dominate lesser competition in going to the rim.

Even against weak Summer League competition, this has been a major issue for the youngster.

“According to sources, some members of the Knicks’ staff held concern about Barrett’s ability to translate his offensive game to the NBA because he relied so much on driving the ball,” Berman noted.

After a disastrous free agency period, the last thing these Knicks needed was to see their franchise cornerstone struggle in Vegas.

New York’s ability to even field a competitive team this coming season will rely heavily on Barrett’s game transitioning as a rookie.

Obviously, two games during the summer doesn’t signal a whole lot. But as the No. 3 overall pick, Barrett should be making news as a dominant figure in Vegas. That has not been the case, and it has to be concerning to New York’s brass.