In a piece of news that comes as no shock to, well, anyone, Duke freshman standout R.J. Barrett announced his decision to forgo his final three years of collegiate eligibility and enter the 2019 NBA Draft. Barrett, projected as a high-lottery pick in the upcoming draft, announced the news in a video he posted to his Twitter account.
Barrett addressed Duke fans and thanked them for their “love and support” before announcing his decision to pursue the “dream” of playing in the NBA.
“It was a dream of mine to play at Duke, ever since I was a young kid,” Barrett said. “It’s also a dream of mine to play in the NBA and have great success there. After discussing with my family and coaches, I’ve decided that I’ll be declaring for the 2019 NBA Draft.”
While his year in Durham occurred alongside Zion Williamson having one of the best individual seasons in recent memory, Barrett was no slouch, either. The 18-year-old Canadian was a consensus first-team All-American and was named the national player of the year by USA Today while averaging 22.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game. Our most recent mock draft projects that the Cleveland Cavaliers will select Barrett with the second overall pick.