Category Archives: Duke in the NBA

ACC Record 26 Dukies in the NBA

 With the 2020-21 NBA season tipping off tonight, the Duke men’s basketball program boasts an ACC record 26 former players on opening-day rosters.

The Blue Devils have had as many as 25 players on NBA rosters during each of the last two seasons, which was the ACC record until the 26 for this season. The list was compiled from the NBA’s official opening-day rosters (including two-way and inactive lists) and includes any Blue Devil that played and finished their college basketball careers at Duke.

Duke’s 26 are spread among 17 NBA franchises, including three each in New Orleans (Brandon IngramJ.J. Redick, Zion Williamson), Portland (Harry GilesRodney Hood, Gary Trent Jr.) and Memphis (Grayson AllenTyus JonesJustise Winslow). Three other clubs – New York (RJ BarrettAustin Rivers), Detroit (Jahlil Okafor, Mason Plumlee) and Sacramento (Marvin Bagley IIIJabari Parker) boast multiple Blue Devils.

The three newest-minted NBA players – Vernon Carey Jr. (Charlotte), Tre Jones (San Antonio) and Cassius Stanley (Indiana) – represented the 98th, 99th and 100th Blue Devils all-time to have their names called in an NBA draft.

Duke’s 26 NBA players represent 5.3% of the 495 listed on opening-day rosters across the NBA. All have been coached by Hall of Fame head coach Mike Krzyzewski, who has seen 67 Blue Devils drafted in his four decades at Duke – including 41 first-round picks to lead all active coaches.

Through the 2019-20 season, Coach K’s former Duke players have accumulated a staggering $2 billion in NBA contracts. Lottery selections who played for Krzyzewski at Duke have combined to earn more than $1.6 billion in contracts, an average of nearly $60 million per individual. These figures don’t include the recent five-year, $195 million max contract extension signed by Jayson Tatum, nor the five-year $158 million max contract extension inked by Brandon Ingram.

Coach K’s 28 lottery picks represent an NBA Draft record for both a coach and a school.

Tatum inked his new deal on the heels of breakout season in 2019-20 that saw him become the fifth Blue Devil to earn a spot on an All-NBA Team, and at 22 years old, became the youngest Boston Celtic to garner All-NBA honors.

Williamson joined Tatum with their first career All-NBA honors as Williamson was tapped as a first-team All-Rookie pick. Duke has boasted at least one NBA All-Rookie pick in five straight seasons and eight of the last nine. Tatum and Ingram each were named to the NBA All-Star Game for the first time in their young careers.

In addition to his spot in the All-Star Game, Ingram was named the 2019-20 NBA Most Improved Player as the 22-year-old became the first player with New Orleans, and the first Blue Devil, to garner the award.

Quinn Cook capped last season by securing his second career NBA title as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. Cook was also part of the Golden State Warriors’ 2018 title run and became the sixth different Blue Devil to win a total of eight NBA titles. He and Shane Battier (2012 and 2013 with the Miami Heat) are the only multiple NBA title winners to play at Duke. At least one Blue Devil has won an NBA title in five of the last nine NBA seasons, including Kyrie Irving in 2016 with the Cavaliers.

Duke’s and Coach K’s ties to the NBA run deeper than just the players on the floor. Including former Blue Devil Quin Snyder as the head coach of the Utah Jazz, 26 of Coach K’s former players, assistant coaches, staff and managers occupy positions on NBA coaching staffs or in front office positions.

Blue Devils in the NBA (26)

Grayson Allen -- Memphis Grizzlies

Marques Bolden – Cleveland Cavaliers

Marvin Bagley III -- Sacramento Kings

RJ Barrett -- New York Knicks           

Vernon Carey Jr. -- Charlotte Hornets

Wendell Carter Jr. -- Chicago Bulls

Quinn Cook -- Los Angeles Lakers

Seth Curry -- Philadelphia 76ers

Harry Giles -- Portland Trail Blazers

Rodney Hood -- Portland Trail Blazers

Brandon Ingram -- New Orleans Pelicans

Kyrie Irving -- Brooklyn Nets

Tre Jones -- San Antonio Spurs

Tyus Jones -- Memphis Grizzlies

Luke Kennard -- Los Angeles Clippers

Jahlil Okafor -- Detroit Pistons

Jabari Parker -- Sacramento Kings

Mason Plumlee -- Detroit Pistons

Cam Reddish -- Atlanta Hawks

J.J. Redick -- New Orleans Pelicans

Austin Rivers -- New York Knicks

Cassius Stanley -- Indiana Pacers

Jayson Tatum -- Boston Celtics

Gary Trent Jr. -- Portland Trail Blazers

Zion Williamson -- New Orleans Pelicans

Justise Winslow -- Memphis Grizzlies

Vernon Carey Enters NBA Draft

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke freshman Vernon Carey Jr., has announced that he will enter his name in the 2020 NBA Draft.

The National Freshman of the Year selection by both the USBWA and NABC, a consensus second-team All-American, the ACC Freshman of the Year and a first-team All-ACC pick, Carey finished his impressive rookie campaign as the only player ranked in the ACC's top 10 in scoring (third, 17.8), rebounding (fourth, 8.8), field goal percentage (first, .577) and blocked shots (sixth, 1.6).

"We were honored to have Vernon and his family in our program this season," said head coach Mike Krzyzewski. "He had an incredible year, being named one of our team's Most Valuable Players, the National Freshman of the Year and a consensus All-American. I'm am so proud to have had the opportunity to coach such a tremendous young man. He came every day looking to get better, and I know the best is yet to come for him. I want to congratulate Vernon and his family on this decision and wish him nothing but the best as he begins what will be a special NBA career."

The Miami, Fla., native posted 15 double-doubles on the season, which ranked second among NCAA freshmen and second in the ACC. Ten of his double-doubles were 20-10 performances, while 14 came as 15-10 games. Carey was ranked second nationally among freshmen in scoring, third in field goal percentage and fourth in rebounds. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2K Empire Classic after scoring 51 points and pulling down 22 rebounds in a pair of wins over Cal and Georgetown at Madison Square Garden.

"I am very thankful for the opportunities I've had my whole life to put on a basketball jersey and play at the highest level every step of the way," said Carey. "I've been able to do that because of the amazing support of my family, coaches and teammates. I'm lucky to have parents who have always encouraged me to dream big, and motivated me to compete with and challenge the best. We did that at Duke every day. I loved competing with my teammates on the biggest stage in college basketball. We created memories that I will cherish forever. I grew as a player and person, and feel prepared to take that next step. After an incredible season, I am excited to enter the 2020 NBA Draft. I will always appreciate everyone at Duke who invested their time and energy to make me better -- Coach K and our coaches, our entire support staff, our managers, the Cameron Crazies and so many others across campus. Duke is a special place and you already know I will be back soon to catch a game and support my brothers."

Carey, who started 30 of Duke's 31 games in the abbreviated season, attempted more free throws (218) than any freshman in college basketball. His 28.7 points per 40 minutes were topped by only Marquette's Markus Howard and Iowa's Luka Garza among major conference players.

Carey helped lead the Blue Devils to a 25-6 overall record and 15-5 mark in the ACC.

Zion Williamson Addresses New Orleans Media

Former Duke basketball standout Zion Williamson spoke with the New Orleans media today about the coming NBA season.  The Pelicans rookie talks of his adjustment and advice he is getting from teammates.  New Orleans will open their season on Tuesday, October 22nd at the defending champions Toronto Raptors in a game that will be nationally televised on TNT.

Brandon Ingram Goes Off, Earns Praise From the King

Brandon Ingram, Photo WDEF

One of the Duke alums in the NBA who is expected to have a break out season is Kinston, N.C. native Brandon Ingram.  Last night, Ingram tossed in 31 points to go with 9 rebounds as the Los Angeles Lakers took down the Sacramento Kings.

Check out these highlights and LeBron James comments on his play-


The Multi-Talented Marvin Bagley III

Marvin Bagley

A season ago, Duke fans saw the amazing motor Marvin Bagley III had on the basketball court.  One thing, Bagley will never lack is energy and Sacremento King's fans will love that.

Last evening, Bagley had a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds against the Los Angeles Lakers in their exhibition game.  Bagley is also teammates with former Duke player Harry Giles, who added 14 points and 7 rebounds of his own.

Bagley has long had other hobbies including singing and the world is about to find out about more about the multi-talented young man.  Bagley has also signed a lucrative deal with Puma as he looks to have an outstanding rookie season.

For more on Bagley, check out this article from the Undefeated on ESPN by clicking here.