From No. 25 to No. 1, stacking up the former Duke basketball talents who have played in the NBA this season is one tall order.
These one-and-done Duke basketball times we live in do come with drawbacks. Young Blue Devils bolt before tapping into their full potential. Older fans grumble about no longer being able to fully get to know the best players. Rebuilt squads take time to build chemistry. And occasional bad apples focus more on future dollar signs than new banners for Cameron Indoor Stadium’s rafters.
That said, those sipping the half-full glass would point out how the program’s unquenchable thirst for five-stars over the past decade has resulted in one national title. They’d also remind the complainers that the model is continuing to yield a growing population of Blue Devils in the NBA for Duke basketball junkies to follow with pride.
That leads us to this list. This season, without including former outbound transfer Semi Ojeleye, a record 25 former Blue Devils have seen action in at least one NBA game. With two having just represented #TheBrotherhood in Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game, there’s no better day to rank and celebrate all those who passed through Durham and now either have been or are on a 2019-20 roster.
Granted, some have been oft-injured; some have spent part of the season in the G League. Regardless, each Duke basketball product’s spot here depends solely on his proven capacity to produce in the NBA either right now or when last healthy; in other words, any setbacks this season from strains, breaks, and various boo-boos don’t count against anyone here.
So without further ado, from No. 25 to No. 1, let’s take a look…