CHICAGO — Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett had already left town, Williamson gone early Wednesday morning and Barrett, just as he may follow closely behind on draft night, just a few hours behind as he headed out.
But the third member of their freshman class of likely lottery picks from Duke, Cam Reddish, stuck around to tell his story, and maybe speak a little for his former teammates. Although Williamson is expected to be the No. 1 pick and Barrett is projected for either No. 2 or 3, Reddish is a mystery, a seemingly perfect pro prospect who struggled on the court much of the season for the Blue Devils.
Reddish said he comes out with a chip on his shoulder, noting of whoever selects him, “They’re getting somebody who can do it all, both sides of the floor. Somebody that’s going to go out there and compete every single night. I’m ready.” But of his teammates he added, “I’m extremely happy for them, too. They’re great guys. I’m sure they’ll get exactly what they deserve. Definitely looking forward to what’s to come.”
Asked for a scouting report on Barrett, who could be there for the Knicks at No. 3, he said, “I’m sure you guys all know about RJ, he’s obviously a phenomenal player, a phenomenal talent, a fierce competitor. He can do it all. He’s a valuable player. I’d be happy for him. I mean, I’m happy for all of them really. If he goes there wish him the best of luck.”
The player who could slip in at No. 2 is Murray State point guard Ja Morant, who flourished in his sophomore season after starting unheralded.
“It’s been a motivation, honestly,” Morant said. “Coming from under the radar, not being paid attention, I would have to say it made me play with a chip on my shoulder.”