Duke basketball: Ideal landing spots for the three NBA-bound Blue Devils

Duke basketball (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball freshman center Vernon Carey Jr. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Pick Analysis. 6-foot-10. C. 110. Scouting Report. 270 pounds. Vernon Carey Jr.. player

Vernon Carey Jr. to the Heat

  • Per the current standings and past trades, Miami would hold pick No. 23 and then none in the second round

Home sweet home. Without even hearing it from the mouth of Vernon Carey Jr., one can assume the Duke basketball freshman who ruled ACC paints last season would welcome the opportunity to settle into his life as a self-made millionaire in the metropolitan area where he undoubtedly reigned over any sandbox he stepped foot in as a child.

By doing so, geographically speaking, the 19-year-old would be following in the giant footsteps of Vernon Carey Sr., who played all eight of his NFL seasons (2004-11) as a starting offensive tackle for the Miami Dolphins.

With the Heat, Carey Jr. would potentially become a longterm complement to All-Star power forward Bam Adebayo, age 22, while learning a thing or two from veteran NBA big men Udonis Haslem, 40, and Kelly Olynyk, 28. In the latest CBS Sports 2020 NBA Mock Draft, senior writer Matt Norlander just so happens to agree with Carey Jr. to Miami at No. 23 and provided the following assessment of the double-double machine (15 in 31 games as a Blue Devil):

“Carey almost never played in the post prior to arriving at Duke. In little time, he grew into a viable back-to-basket player, and even if that style is an aberration at the NBA level, it goes to show how versatile Carey can be and how quick a study he is…A big man with a good touch, a good defensive profile, and a nice passer for a player of his size. If he falls beyond 25, it’s a mistake. Period.”

ALSO READ: The projected starting five for Duke next season

No matter where Vernon Carey Jr., Cassius Stanley, and Tre Jones begin their days in the NBA, one thing’s for certain: Duke fans will be missing them and forever wondering what they might have accomplished as a leading trio in the NCAA Tournament.

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