Former Duke basketball star traded in draft night’s biggest blockbuster

Former Duke basketball guard Luke Kennard (Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports)
Former Duke basketball guard Luke Kennard (Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports) /

A former Duke basketball standout was traded during the 2020 NBA Draft.

It was the draft’s biggest trade of the night, and a former Duke basketball standout was right in the middle of it.

As the No. 19 overall pick approached, NBA insiders Adrian Wojnarowski (ESPN) and Shams Charania (The Athletic) went to work, blowing up their Twitter feeds to give fans the biggest trade of the night.

The Brooklyn Nets traded the rights to the No. 19 overall pick to the Los Angeles Clippers in the midst of a three-team deal, which also sent former Blue Devil Luke Kennard from the Detroit Pistons to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Other aspects of the trade were that Landry Shamet was dealt from the Clippers to the Nets and Villanova standout Saddiq Bey was officially the Nets’ selection, although his rights belong to the Pistons.

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Also, Rodney McGruder was traded from the Clippers to the Pistons in the package deal.

Luke Kennard was the No. 12 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons after leaving Duke following his sensational sophomore season, where he starred alongside Jayson Tatum and Grayson Allen as the Blue Devils captured an ACC Tournament Championship.

Blockbuster is a perfect situation for the former Duke basketball shooter

Playing for the Pistons, Luke Kennard never had the national exposure others in his draft class did, given his team’s constant struggles, but that will change playing alongside Paul George and Kawhi Leonard.

Injuries played a major role in Kennard’s most recent season, only playing 28 games, but the third-year player was in the midst of his best year in the NBA, averaging 15.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game, all career highs.

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The southpaw also was shooting 44.2 percent from the field and 39.9 percent from 3-point range. Kennard’s shooting will determine his success in Los Angeles with the Clippers.

Luke Kennard is not afraid of the bright lights, and now he joins an NBA Championship contender that is coming off of a disappointing end to its season with an exit in the Western Conference Finals in the NBA Bubble.

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