Paolo Banchero, Mark Williams, AJ Griffin, Wendell Moore, and Trevor Keels set a Duke basketball program record at Thursday night's 2022 NBA Draft in Brooklyn's Barclays Center.
Previously, four was the record for most Blue Devils off the board in a single draft. That happened four times: 1986, 1999, 2017, and 2018.
Also, the four first-rounders match the 1999 bunch for the most from Duke in one year.
Let's recap the night's jam-packed Blue Devil action:
Banchero became the fifth Blue Devil of all time to hear his name No. 1 overall (others are Art Heyman in 1963, Elton Brand in 1999, Kyrie Irving in 2011, and Zion Williamson in 2019). The 6-foot-10 forward is heading to the Orlando Magic, where he'll team up with another former Duke basketball one-and-done in Wendell Carter Jr.
Williams was the next Blue Devil to come off the board. After two years in Durham, the 7-foot-1 center landed with the Charlotte Hornets at No. 15 overall. He'll likely compete with former four-year Duke basketball big man Mason Plumlee for minutes — and perhaps a starting job down low.
Griffin immediately followed Williams, going No. 16 overall to the Atlanta Hawks. The 6-foot-6 forward and Williams are the third pair of Blue Devils ever to come off the board back-to-back at an NBA Draft (Jay Williams and Mike Dunleavy went No. 2 and 3 in 2002, and Corey Maggette and William Avery went No. 13 and 14 in 1999).
Moore found the spotlight at No. 26 overall. Although the Dallas Mavericks were the ones who drafted him, trade action sent the 6-foot-5 forward to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Keels fell to the second round, going No. 42 to the New York Knicks. Assuming the 6-foot-4 guard makes the roster (no guaranteed contracts for second-rounders), he'll team with two more former Duke basketball one-and-dones in RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish. That's barring a move involving Reddish, a potential trade piece.
Two more Duke basketball alums in NBA Summer League
Since the draft's conclusion, two more former Blue Devils have landed opportunities to showcase their talents in the NBA Summer League, which will take place July 7-17 in Las Vegas.
The first such news came via a tweet from Stadium NBA insider Shams Charania. He reported that Theo John, a 6-foot-9 forward who transferred to Duke to play his graduate season last go-round, received a Summer League invite from the Minnesota Timberwolves. So he should see playing time alongside Wendell Moore.
Then on Friday, ESPN's Jonathan Givony tweeted that combo forward Jack White, a 6-foot-7 Blue Devil reserve from 2016 to 2020, will play for the Denver Nuggets in the Summer League. Givony noted the 24-year-old "emerged as one of the most versatile defenders in the Australian NBL this season with Melbourne United."
While John and White still have an uphill battle to make NBA dreams come true, impactful Summer League showings can be a stepping stone.
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