Best Duke Players In The NBA

The majority of the viewers reading our article will surely know about the Duke Blue Devils basketball team. But, if you do not know what the fuss has always been about, we will tell you about Duke Basketball Team. 

Blue Devils is a men’s basketball associated with Duke University where players receive much-needed media support and exposure to become the best basketball players.

There are many opinions regarding the team where you would see people hating the Duke basketball team for unnecessary support. Still, no one can deny the fact that they have produced some remarkable talents. We are about to discuss all such players.

Duke NBA Players

Kyrie Irving

Duke: 2010-2011

NBA: 2011-Present

Irving joined Duke University in 2010 and made his debut in the same year. Considered as one of the strongest contenders to win the Freshman of the Year award after a jaw-dropping performance in the first 8 games, Irving suffered a ligament injury in his toe, which shortened his career with the Duke basketball team.

The Cleveland Cavaliers picked him in the NBA draft during 2011 when he decided to quit school at Duke. Initially, in his NBA career, the Cavaliers were coping with the loss of Lebron James, but when Lebron returned in 2014, Kyrie made sure that they win the title soon than later. The Cavaliers went on to win the title in 2016, which further prolonged his career. 

JJ Redick

Duke: 2002-2006

NBA: 2006-Present

Reddick had arguably the best span in the Duke associated careers to date. He started playing for the team in 2002, where his shooting guard performances were praised by many.

People thought that these years were the best of his career, but he proved them wrong by bettering his senior year scores. He was discussed as the USA’s best national player, but the statements and judgments were split into two.

Many considered him the next big thing in basketball, but others continuously booed him during the away games, which was the Duke association. He won the Naismith Award as the best college basketballer of the year and went on to get picked by Orlando Magic in the same year. 

The story has been completely different for JJ on the NBA level as he is playing a supportive role for other prominent players in the team. His popularity has grown over time, and people love him more than before.

Christian Laettner

Duke: 1988-1992

NBA: 1992-2005

When you make the list of the most hated player in college basketball, you need to keep Laettner at the top. He even has a documentary made on his name, “I hate Christian Laettner.”

A record holder for the greatest number of games played, most basketball games won, and most points scored at the college level, Christian has seen the highs at the extreme.

Talking about his years spent with Duke, Christian has played finals in all of the four. He did not win the first two but managed to take his team over the winning margin in the years 1991 and 1992.

He even scored the winning point against Kentucky, which is still considered the best basketball game in college basketball history. The NBA career was never the same where he got into the Rookie team of the Year in his debut year.

He also averaged in the double figures in the preceding 7 years of his career. He did well in most of his time in the NBA, but people still believe that the Naismith award winner should have achieved more.

Honorable Mentions

Duke basketball has always lived up to its fans’ expectations, which is why it has produced many extraordinary players since its inception. We could have discussed all the players, but the problem is the length, which you would require to read through.

So just read through the honorable mentions and see which other players emerged from the Duke basketball team and made their way into the NBA circuit.

Elton Brand

Duke: 1997-1999

NBA: 2000-2016

Another player with his career cut short while playing for the Duke. He left the team in 1999 to get selected in the NBA in 2000. Elton’s major achievement has been the Rookie of the Year award in 2000. Currently, he is working as a general manager with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Grant Hill

Duke: 1990-1994

NBA: 1994-2013

The co-owner of the Atlanta Hawks and the NBA Hall of Famer was also a Duke player during his college days. He was Christian’s teammate during 1991 and 1992 title wins. He led the team after Laettner and Hurley’s graduation.

Shane Battier

Duke: 1997-2001

NBA: 2001-2014

He played for 3 different teams in an NBA career. He had to wait a long time to win his first title until 2012 and win it again in 2013. Talking about his time with Duke, he swept all the awards to gain recognition at the NBA level in his senior year.

Current Duke Basketball Players To Look Forward To

Grayson Allen

A player who has proven himself during the time he spent with Duke University. Allen got drafted into the Utah Jazz in 2018, making his debut against the Memphis Grizzlies, where he scored 7 points in 11 minutes. This outing played a trick in the Grizzlies, so they acquired him from Jazz next year. 

He is one of those players which you should look forward to. His brilliant game against LA Clippers in 2019 was a mere example of what he can achieve.

RJ Barrett

Barrett played his first game for Duke in 2018, where he scored 33 points against Kentucky to break the record of most points scored in the debut game for Duke. He was named as the Rookie of the year at the end of 2018.

In his next game, he scored 30 points against Yale and 32 against Florida. By then, he made headlines in several blogs and papers, so this paid off when New York Knicks acquired him in June 2019. He performs exceedingly well for the Knicks, so you better watch out for a new legend in coming years.