Published: Sat, April 13, 2019
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Duke Forward RJ Barrett Declares for 2019 NBA Draft

Duke Forward RJ Barrett Declares for 2019 NBA Draft

Duke freshman swingman RJ Barrett announced on Twitter he has declared for the 2019 NBA Draft.

Barrett is widely considered a top-five pick in June's entry draft and will become the latest in a run of Canadian lottery picks this decade, following Tristan Thompson (2011), Anthony Bennett (2013), Kelly Olynyk (2013), Andrew Wiggins (2014), Nik Stauskas (2014), Trey Lyles (2015), Jamal Murray (2016), and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2018).

Barrett averaged 35.3 minutes, 22.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. The freshman averaged 7.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists and recorded just the program's fourth triple double with 21 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists against NC State on February 16. For players, it is also a time of evaluation on whether or not to return to college or test the NBA Draft waters.

Although Barrett and Williamson were knocked out by Michigan State in the 2019 NCAA Tournament, the two project as franchise cornerstones at the next level.


The first of three anticipated declarations for the 2019 NBA Draft took place early Wednesday afternoon as R.J. He sent a ton of love to the "Duke Crazies" and said that he would look forward to coming back to Durham to support the Blue Devils.

Barrett was Duke's most consistent scorer, scoring at least 13 points in every game with six 30-point performances. The Blue Devils' NCAA tournament run ended with a 68-67 loss to Michigan State in the East Region final. The NBA's fast-paced game fits in perfectly with Barrett's skillset as the young Canadian excels at attacking the basket.

Williamson and classmate Cam Reddish have not yet announced their plans for next season. His 860 points not only set a new ACC freshman scoring record, they give him the second-best scoring output in a single season by any Duke player.

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