For the first time since 2014, it appears that Duke will not have a lottery pick in this year’s NBA Draft. Despite sending a pair of one-and-dones to the league following last season, none of the three underclassmen or three seniors in the draft are expected to go near the top.
Center Vernon Carey Jr., forward Cassius Stanley and point guard Tre Jones—a sophomore last year—should all hear their names called, although maybe not all in the first round. Seniors Jack White—already playing pro in Australia—Javin DeLaurier and Justin Robinson are not expected to be chosen in the two-round draft.
All three underclassmen have been mocked as high as the middle of the first round, but as we reach the big night, they’re each in danger of slipping out of the first round altogether.
In Sports Illustrated’s latest mock draft, Carey is the only Blue Devil still projected in the first round, going with pick 30 to the Celtics.
“The Celtics have also shown interest in Carey,” Jeremy Woo wrote, “an unflashy but capable rebounder with floor-spacing potential and some untapped versatility as a pick-and-pop player. Carey dropped a significant amount of weight during the predraft process and I’m told is now in the 240-pound range, a development some are hoping will aid his defensive mobility and enable him to stay on the floor more consistently. Whether that lost strength will impact his post play is a different question, but Carey’s productivity at Duke and legit size give him a chance to end up in the first round.”
Woo has Jones going to the Mavericks with the next pick, opening the second round.
Stanley is mocked to the Bucks with the 45th pick.