Rookie Review: Strong start has Rui Hachimura among top rookies

Washington Wizards Rui Hachimura (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Rui Hachimura (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /
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Washington Wizards R.J. Barrett
Washington Wizards R.J. Barrett (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images) /

RJ Barrett

Taken number three overall

RJ Barrett has continued to excel as the man in New York. Maybe the Knicks got the right Blue Devil after all.

Barrett is averaging 18.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists while shooting 43.4 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from three. Barret has continued to show off his finishing ability at the rim, especially when he goes to his left. He struggles when going right and will need to work on that or defenses will be able to limit his offensive contributions.

Something that people will need to keep an eye on is Barrett’s usage. He is averaging 37.1 minutes a game, which is the most among the rookies and fourth-most in the league. However, his coach does not think it’s a problem.

It will be wise to not overwork the 19-year-old so his body doesn’t fall apart down the road. But at the same time, he is young and he can take advantage of the extra playing time. The load management debate has only grown stronger since the Gregg Popovich was resting Tim Duncan. Considering how successful the Toronto Raptors were with Kawhi Leonard and his load management, this isn’t going away anytime soon. Barrett, being a high-profile rookie in the mecca of basketball, could take it to new heights.