R.J. Barrett: Hustle
Our scouting grades represent the composite opinion of at least three different scouts. Each category is graded based on how we view a player’s current ability level relative to NBA players at the same position (guard, wing, forward or big). A grade of 1 indicates replacement level, a grade of 5 indicates NBA average, and a grade of 10 indicates historically elite. Our composite scouting notes help provide context for our grades.
Another Jekyll and Hyde category for Barrett. He is engaged on offense and relishes being the big shot taker. He plays well in big games and generally shows out in the box score against other high level opponents. On defense, however, his motor tends to run a little cooler. He is guilty of taking plays off when his man isn’t directly involved and doesn’t commit himself in 50/50 situations unless the game is close late. He has the tools to be a truly special player with his frame and skills, but he will need to put more effort into each game, something which can be difficult over the longer NBA season.
He has the skills to be an offensive rebounder, but because he usually plays alongside two bigs (one of which might be the best second-chance player in the country), he doesn’t have a ton of opportunity to get on the glass. He is an apogee rebounder who will be more difficult to stop when he plays in a game with more space, but for the moment seems content to be the outlet man who pushes the ball into the teeth of the defense.
While is he isn’t a great position rebounder, Barrett certainly has some marked rebounding skills. While he isn’t getting a body on a body very often, he finds himself in the right place more often than not and is excellent at high pointing the ball, even in traffic. He has shown the ability to gravitate toward the right areas of the floor even as the shot is going up, making him one of the smarter wing rebounders in the class. While his effort is inconsistent, he is averaging nearly 6 defensive boards per game, showcasing his potential to be an elite rebounder for a wing.
Barrett really pushes the ball hard when presented with transition opportunities and combined with his body control generally poses a pretty big threat to score or get fouled as defenses scramble to cover him. He is averaging 5.8 defensive rebounds per game and is an ever present threat to pull the ball off the glass and push out ahead using his speed. He is talented in the open floor, able to attack off the bounce and collapse defense, take up space quickly, and can score from all three levels. Plus, he has good court vision to find teammates when he isn’t locked into attacking.
As mentioned in his other defensive categories, Barrett is an active ball watcher. In transition this is far more noticeable. He needs to improve his understanding of defensive lanes, as he will often turn his body to fully address the player with the ball and leave unseen cutters a path to the basket. He can be moderately disruptive when he is near enough to the ball for his length to play a role. He also has pretty solid footwork, able to cross his legs while switching his hips without losing too much ground. He can also provide a decent challenge at the rim when rotating across.