Since the G League Ignite team's formation in 2020, two former Duke basketball recruiting targets, Jonathan Kuminga and Matas Buzelis, have chosen that guaranteed-salary route for their required gap year between high school graduation and the NBA Draft.
In this span, no college has landed more recruits holding Blue Devil offers than that. Florida State, Michigan, and Tennessee are the only three that have matched G League Ignite's count with two; interestingly, Kentucky and UNC have snagged only one prize apiece from the 2020-23 Duke basketball offer sheets.
G League Ignite signs these elite prospects to six-figure contracts. And the team, based on the outskirts of Las Vegas and set to enjoy a full 50-game schedule for the first time this season, already boasts a proven track record for producing NBA Draft picks: six between the last two years, including three of the lottery variety.
On that note, it's worth pointing out that five-star talents seemingly on G League Ignite's radar litter the seven-deep 2024 Duke basketball offer sheet.
One new example is the most recent recipient of an offer from first-year head coach Jon Scheyer in Sage Hill (Calif.) junior Carter Bryant.
The 6-foot-8, 215-pound versatile small forward has become one of the hottest names on the 2024 recruiting trail. Within the past week alone, Bryant has picked up a Duke offer, added the fifth star to his composite rating, and jumped 17 spots to No. 7 among his peers in the eyes of 247Sports.
So it's no surprise Bryant is drawing attention from second-year G League Ignite head coach Jason Hart. According to a tweet from the Sage Hill basketball program's account, the former nine-year NBA journeyman was at its practice on Friday, along with coaches from Florida State and Loyola Chicago.
On Wednesday, 247Sports' Eric Bossi explained the reasoning behind Bryant's sharp rise in the rankings:
"When it comes to positional size, skill and versatility there are few small forwards in the class of 2024 who can match Carter Bryant. Already standing 6-foot-8 with a sturdy frame, Bryant is a skilled forward who has range to the three-point line, can put the ball on the floor and slashes to the rim in transition. Because of his size and frame, he also has the ability to play as a small ball four man...if he continues to grow, he could be even more dangerous as a mismatch four man...he's taken his game to new heights in the past few months."
Bossi noted that Arizona was "presumed to be the early leader" in the Carter Bryant sweepstakes with its "aggressive" approach. But he also pointed to the "stiffer competition" now beginning to pile up in the race.
Will G League Ignite be Duke's stiffest competitor for Bryant or any of the school's other six top-50 targets in the class? Maybe. Maybe not. Either way, at the very least, it is undoubtedly a growing threat worthy of respect nowadays.
Stay tuned to Blue Devil Country for more Duke basketball recruiting updates.