Ranking Duke’s 24 basketball players in the NBA this season

Duke Grayson Allen and RJ Barrett Basketball Merchandise (Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports)

Who are the best Duke NBA basketball awards these days?

A total of 23 Duke basketball alumni have appeared in at least one NBA game this season, trailing only 29 in the Kentucky basketball program. Duke’s roster does not include active Los Angeles Clippers forward Semi Ojeleye, who left Durham midway through his sophomore year (2014-15) and played one season for Southern Methodist before turning pro.

Then there’s an NBA Blue Devil who remains under contract with the New Orleans Pelicans but hasn’t been ready for a release this round yet. So let’s start with a blurb about him, as he’s unclassifiable here given his absence from the season, and then we’ll count down from No. 23 to Duke’s No. 1 pro product right now:

Former Duke basketball forward Zion Williamson

Last season, Zion Williamson’s second in the league after being No. 1 overall in the 2019 NBA Draft, the 6-foot-6, 285-pound slugger earned an All-Star nod on his way to averaging a whopping 27.0 points and 7.2 rebounds per game while shooting 61.1 percent from the field.

Again, though, Williamson didn’t play a single minute for the 2021-22 New Orleans Pelicans (23-36). He continues to treat the foot injury he suffered during the offseason. And it now looks increasingly likely that the rocking South Carolina native will be out of action until next season.

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