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Jamal Murray says he’d pick RJ Barrett over Zion Williamson

(Photo: Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)

(Photo: Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)

If the New Orleans Pelicans handed its general manager duties over to Jamal Murray, Murray would select RJ Barrett with the first overall pick Thursday night, not Zion Williamson.

The former Wildcat said so in speaking with ESPN’s Marc Spears in Spears’ new story about Barrett’s NBA potential.

Murray told Spears:

“Zion has definitely overshadowed RJ because of the hype. But I think RJ is more of a complete player in terms of what you are looking for. Zion is going to sell tickets. But if it was up to me, I would still take RJ.” [TheUndefeated.com]

He added he believes Barrett will be a star in the league and eventually be considered the best player out of this incoming draft class. For what it’s worth, Barrett got wind of Murray’s comment and said he agrees. (As he should.)

So is Murray serious in this hot draft take? Or is this one Canadian showing some love to another?

(Answer: B. Canadian pride)

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

22 Comments for Jamal Murray says he’d pick RJ Barrett over Zion Williamson



  1. cats646
    6:44 pm June 18, 2019 Permalink

    Jamal Murray is an idiot.



    • Skooms
      7:02 pm June 18, 2019 Permalink

      Cats646 is an idiot. That was easy.



    • cats646
      10:06 pm June 18, 2019 Permalink

      Lol, Zion is ten times better at every position than Barrett. That was easy.



    • Corder
      9:49 am June 19, 2019 Permalink

      What position will Zion play in the NBA? He is undersized for the 4 and can’t shoot as a three. He wasn’t that great of a shooter from the college three and you’re moving that back in the league. His size down low will be matched as well as his quickness. RJ is ready to come in and play the 2, Zion has a lot of work to do if he wants to do what he did in college in the NBA. Not saying Zion isn’t a good player but now is the time to see if he will be able to bully grown ass men like he did college kids.



  2. jytruebluefan
    6:47 pm June 18, 2019 Permalink

    I really think he’s speaking some truth here. I think Zion is gonna have to change and improve more than RJ does to be successful at the next level. RJ is more complete now and ready to help now. Zion is a freak athlete that is undersized and struggles to guard laterally with a crazy vertical. I gotta see a lot more to believe he is Lebron lol



  3. John Capilari
    6:59 pm June 18, 2019 Permalink

    Ummmm no freaking way. Jamal will eat those words.



    • Skooms
      7:03 pm June 18, 2019 Permalink

      It’s a fellow Canadian. In a league dominated by Americans ( or Kentuckians since Cal) you can’t knock on the guy for backing RJ.



    • Soylentbeans
      8:59 pm June 18, 2019 Permalink

      Bet money.



  4. Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
    7:09 pm June 18, 2019 Permalink

    Zion will foul out in the first quarter with limited minutes to begin with if the refs are calling the game fair. RJ will actually get to play a whole game.



  5. Nickerbocker05
    7:15 pm June 18, 2019 Permalink

    RJ Barrett is the better player and Zion knows it



  6. Trevor
    8:22 pm June 18, 2019 Permalink

    I agree completely with Jamal. Not Zion won’t be successful, but if you really look at their games and their fit. RJ is a better all around prospect in my opinion when you take away the freakish Zion dunks.



    • mashburnfan1
      8:39 pm June 18, 2019 Permalink

      Yep, part of what made Zion dominate in college was his strength vs college kids. He won’t have as big of power advantage at next level. I can see RJ become a Ben Simmons type player.



    • Soylentbeans
      9:02 pm June 18, 2019 Permalink

      Plus they will more than likely want to condition him better and turn some baby fat into muscle. Part of the reason I personally think he didnt come to uk. I feel like he didnt want to work really hard in his 1 year of college(specifically on those 2 things).



  7. UKinIN
    8:48 pm June 18, 2019 Permalink

    They played for Duke so I don’t actually care about either player but Barrett is ready to play two guard in the NBA. Zion will have a lot to figure out.



    • bigtaters6957
      8:24 am June 19, 2019 Permalink

      Zion has the tools to be incredible. His floor based on his motor and athleticism is similar to Draymond Green. He will gobble rebounds and excel in the open floor. He may struggle in half court sets until he refines his game. He needs to improve as a ball handler and passer, and get some post moves that aren’t just elevating over people.

      RJ is a point forward that could end up looking a lot like Ben Simmons. He that isn’t as quick laterally, but he is a good down hill athlete. He plays straight to his left hand offensively right now, is a good finisher, but also used his strength against smaller college guys. His shot isn’t very good and he’s slow to get it off. He not a very good passer as it stands, which is why he not close to Simmons yet. I could see him struggling with bigger athletes guarding him.



  8. WatchutalkinboutWillis
    8:55 pm June 18, 2019 Permalink

    They will both be busts like most Duke players in the NBA! (Hot take)



  9. JMFATZ47
    9:12 pm June 18, 2019 Permalink

    Zion will get injured and we will never know



  10. meeksfor3
    8:33 am June 19, 2019 Permalink

    He would have been wrong with either one….the correct answer should have been PJ Washington, Keldon Johnson or Buckets Herro.



  11. ukisgr8
    9:06 am June 19, 2019 Permalink

    He’s right. Zion will be good but he’s one of those tweener players that is more role player long term than star. With the hype however, no way New Orleans passes on Zion at 1. And besides, it’s their key need after losing Davis and randle



  12. RexRox
    10:00 am June 19, 2019 Permalink

    Agree with Jamal. Been saying the same thing for months.



  13. TayshaunKing
    11:02 am June 19, 2019 Permalink

    CAn’T say I disagree with him. Zion is very talented, but still in 2D. RJ is like Brazzers Premium VR3D



  14. catdaddyd
    4:01 pm June 19, 2019 Permalink

    I’d take RJ over Murray.