5 Duke basketball players among projected first-round picks

Recent drafts include Duke basketball talent aplenty.

In the 1999 NBA Draft, Duke set a record by placing four players in the first round: Elton Brand at No. 1, Trajan Langdon at No. 11, Corey Maggette at No. 13 and William Avery at No. 14. But Kentucky’s basketball program has since eclipsed that mark with five first rounds in 2010.

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Now, though, it looks like the No. 2 Duke Blue Devils (12-1, 2-0 ACC), who hope to stay perfect in ACC play by hosting the unranked Miami Hurricanes (12-3, 4 -0 ACC) as of 8 p.m. ET Saturday, have a reasonable chance of matching that number in the 2022 NBA Draft. Or so some recent drafts say.

Current projections for Duke’s basketball selections in the 2022 NBA Draft

Duke’s first striker Paolo Banchero fell from the top spot in some fictional drafts. However, in seemingly all of them, he remains in the top three — along with Gonzaga freshman center Chet Holmgren and Auburn freshman forward Jabari Smith.

Meanwhile, although there are dummy drafts that don’t even list AJ GriffinThere are also plenty of people noticing the small freshman forward’s emergence recently in a sixth-man role for the Blue Devils. Thereafter, many have taken the former five-star prep back to where it mostly stood before it came to Duke: a projected lottery pick.

Yet another Blue Devil rookie looking like a first-round pick pulls guard Trevor Bowling. The full-time starter, whose 3-point prowess and keen on-court instinct impressed Duke fans from the get-go, is flirting with lottery pick status on multiple sites but is either a late first-rounder , an early second round. on the others.

Yes, Duke second center Mark Williams appears in the first round the least often among these five Blue Devils. Still, his 7-foot frame and high basketball IQ should equate to high marks in the potential department. If he continues to build on his strengths as a shot blocker and alley-oop finisher while refining his post moves, it’s unclear how high he can climb on mock drafts.

When it comes to the Blue Devils co-captain and possibly ACC Player of the Year top contender, it seems most pundits are now seeing a junior small forward Wendell Moore as an intermediate to late first round. And that’s a credit to the remarkable improvements in his first two seasons at Durham.

Stay tuned Durham Ball for more on the Blue Devils in the 2022 NBA Draft as well as other Duke basketball news and views.

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