Duke basketball forward Matthew Hurt given chance to thrive in NBA

Duke basketball forward Matthew Hurt (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball forward Matthew Hurt (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

Former Duke basketball forward Matthew Hurt has the chance to thrive in the NBA. 

It was a bad night at the 2021 NBA Draft for the Duke basketball program, but one of its undrafted players has the chance to thrive at the next level.

Matthew Hurt was the Most Improved Player in the ACC last season, and the jump he made from his freshman to his sophomore campaign was jaw-dropping. But his weaknesses were too much of a question mark for NBA teams to take a chance on last Thursday night.

However, nearly 24 hours after the draft, Hurt signed a two-way deal with the Houston Rockets and will play for the former Western Conference powerhouse in next week’s NBA Summer League.

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A two-way deal allows Hurt to play limited time in the NBA while playing most of next season in the NBA G-League.

The 6-foot-9, 235-pound forward averaged 18.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game last season while shooting 55.6-percent from the floor and 44.4-percent from 3-point territory.

Jalen Johnson was the only former Blue Devil to be drafted in this year’s draft after going to the Atlanta Hawks with the No. 20 overall pick.

DJ Steward also went undrafted and signed with the Sacramento Kings minutes after the conclusion of the draft.

Former Duke basketball forward has tools to have success with Houston Rockets

There is no debating Matthew Hurt’s offensive skillset.

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He is not going to put the ball on the floor and take a defender off the dribble to the basket, nor is he going to have outstanding post moves, but his shooting could eventually elevate him to a prominent role in the NBA.

Hurt has his issues with his defensive abilities and how his athleticism matches up with the rest of the NBA, and that will need to be rectified as he grows accustomed to playing in the NBA or the G-League.

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