Pair of Duke basketball standouts get shipped to franchise in flux

Duke basketball (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

A pair of Duke basketball standouts were shipped out of Portland in an under-the-radar deal. 

In one of the most under-the-radar trades of the day, former Duke basketball standouts Rodney Hood and Gary Trent Jr. were shipped out of Portland to the Toronto Raptors.

Norman Powell was sent to the Trail Blazers in exchange for the former Blue Devils as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report the trade.

All eyes were on the Raptors at the NBA Trading Deadline as the NBA Champions from two seasons ago have been stuck in the mud this season with not being able to play in Toronto due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Many speculated that the franchise would be trading one of its all-time best players, Kyle Lowry, but Toronto opted to hold on to its beloved player despite moving several other pieces.

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There has also been drama surrounding the Raptors this season with star Pascal Siakam and head coach Nick Nurse.

Reports surfaced that teammates had to separate the two and that Siakam was fined $50,000 for his actions.

Nevertheless, the team is still looking to make the Eastern Conference Playoffs despite its turbulence this year.

What Duke basketball standouts will bring to Raptors

Gary Trent Jr. appeared to be finding a home with the Portland Trail Blazers behind star guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.

Trent Jr. was drafted by the Sacramento Kings in the second round of the 2018 NBA Draft and was shipped to the Blazers in a draft-day trade.

Nonetheless, the 22-year-old is averaging 15.0 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game while shooting 41.4-percent from the floor and 39.7-percent from three-point range in 41 games this season.

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Rodney Hood is still trying to come back from a ruptured Achilles suffered last season but also looked like he found a home in the Pacific Northwest after landing with the Blazers in 2018-19 and being an immediate impact player in the postseason.

This season, Hood has played in 38 games and is posting 4.7 points, 1.9 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game on just 36.3-percent shooting from the field.

The Toronto Raptors are currently 18-26 and in 11th place in the Eastern Conference.

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