Since the lottery balls were picked and the Knicks were officially slated for the third pick in the upcoming draft, it’s been presumed Duke’s RJ Barrett would be the choice.
Not so fast.
New York reportedly has scheduled a meeting with Murray State guard Ja Morant, according to SNY. The meeting is expected to happen Friday.
Morant is the consensus No. 2 prospect in this class behind Zion Williamson, and the Grizzlies reportedly have him locked in as their selection with the second pick. But reports after the lottery indicated the Knicks prefer Morant over Barrett, and after a knee scope earlier his month to remove a “loose body” in Morant’s knee, New York could be holding out hope the explosive point guard could drop one spot and land in its lap.
Morant isn’t on the record expressing his preferred NBA destination, but Barrett, who said he only plans to meet with the Knicks, was adamant earlier this week about his desire to play in the Big Apple.
“If that ends up and I’m still there at 3, I’d love for them to take me,” Barrett said after a workout with the Knicks. “This is the place I want to be, so I hope they draft me.”
Barrett averaged 22.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 35.3 minutes per game during his lone season at Duke. He shot 45.4 percent from the field and 30.8 percent from 3-point range. The Blue Devils finished 2018-19 with a 32-6 record and advanced to the Elite Eight, where they fell to Michigan State.
Morant had a breakout season for Murray State in 2018-19. He averaged 24.5 points and 10 assists while shooting 36.3 percent from 3-point range as a sophomore.