3. RJ Barrett, Shooting Guard
There were two former Duke Blue Devils picked up in the 2019 NBA Draft that truly highlighted the top three or four prospects in this class. And those two former Duke players includes Zion of the Pelicans and Barrett of the Knicks. Both of them frequently got to face Coby and the Tar Heels in their one season runs in college.
The latter of those two Duke players was expected to make more of an immediate impact than he was actually able to with the Knicks. Barrett came into this season with potential hopes of putting up good enough stats in a bright enough spotlight to be a true contender for the Rookie of the Year honors.
And it might not be all that difficult for White to surpass Barrett over the long haul if the production that each rookie posted just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic-induced hiatus continues into next season. Barrett played in 56 games in the season that was for the Knicks (starting in all but one of them). He averaged 14.3 points per game, 5.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.0 steals, and 0.3 blocks.
Barrett shot 40.2 percent from the field, 32.0 percent from beyond the arc, and 61.4 percent from the free-throw line. That amounted to an effective field goal percentage of 44.5 and a 47.9 true shooting percentage.
White and Barrett were trending in opposite directions prior to the hiatus. White won Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for February, and Barrett posted a 90 offensive rating/119 defensive rating in that same month.
The -0.5 win shares, -4.3 box plus/minus rating, -1.0 value over replacement player rating, and -0.015 win shares per 48 minutes are metrics that will improve. But it might not come before White is able to continue his hot streak into next season.