Duke in the NBA: Former Blue Devils Excel in Pro Debut with Kings

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

It’s been a long time coming but the Sacramento Kings Summer League team unveiled two brand new Duke in the NBA players Monday night.

It was the highly anticipated debut of the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Marvin Bagley III, as the Sacramento Kings Summer League team took on the Los Angeles Lakers Summer League team, but it was also the debut of the No. 20 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Harry Giles.

Giles sat out all of last season rehabbing his knee that he hurt in high school and that caused him problems during his time at Duke.

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The two former Duke big men both made their presence well known as Bagley took the No. 25 overall pick and former Michigan star Mo Wagner into the post and dropped in a hook shot over him for his first professional bucket.

On the other end, Giles blocked a Wagner three-point shot and then sprinted down the court to convert the lob pass from Frank Mason, as Giles scored his first professional bucket.

On the next possession down the court, the Kings forced a Lakers turnover where De’Aaron Fox bolted up the court and handed the ball over to Bagley at the top of the arc where he took two dribbles and then rose up from the top of the restricted area over Wagner for a monster dunk, bringing the sold-out Golden One Arena to its feet and almost breaking social media.

Despite the highlights from the two ex-Blue Devils, both Bagley and Giles had very good games.

Bagley scored 18 points, pulled down six rebounds, and swatted three shots, while Giles had 13 points, three rebounds, and one block.

Bagley was 6-11 from the field and was a shockingly 5-6 from the free throw line, a great improvement for him from only a few months ago. Giles was 6-10 from the field and showed an ability to shoot from beyond the arc, making one of his two attempts.

Going forward for Bagley he is so skilled offensively, the biggest area of concern for him is his defense and how to stay on his feet when closing out on big men that can shoot like Wagner as they just will pump fake him and drive to the basket.

For Giles, it’s getting back into basketball and game shape while the Kings organization must remain cautious with his knee, as they need him healthy for the games that count this winter.

The Kings are scheduled to take on the Golden State Warriors Summer League team on Tuesday night at 11:00 ET and that game can be seen on NBATV as well as ESPN3.