One of the bigger questions around the Knicks entering the season is what should the expectations be for rookie R.J. Barrett?
"(Knicks fans) can expect that they're getting a killer," Zion Williamson said in an interview with SNY at Panini's NBA Rookie Photo Shoot on Sunday. "For the people that are trying to look down on him, RJ's been through worse. He knows how to battle through it and he's going to bring the city everything he's got."
Williamson, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 Draft, is a close friend of Barrett's. Williamson and Barrett formed a strong bond while playing together at Duke last season. So you'd expect Williamson to offer a strong statement about his friend. But Williamson referencing Barrett's ability to battle through adversity is noteworthy.
As a 19-year-old rookie, Barrett will undoubtedly go through ups and downs this season. Each of his games will be heavily scrutinized because he's in the biggest media market in the country. So there will be reactions (and overreactions) to everything he does.
By all accounts, Barrett should handle the added attention well. He dealt with it as a decorated high school player, and in his lone season at Duke. And he bounced back from a rough start at Summer League to string together some solid performances.
"I felt like that really got my mojo going. So just trying to bring that into training camp is going to be good," Barrett said on Sunday at the Panini Rookie Photo Shoot.
Barrett will join a crowded field of wings at Knicks training camp next month. It will be interesting to see how head coach David Fizdale divides minutes among his wings and if Barrett ends up in the starting lineup.