A pro option has entered itself into one Duke basketball recruiting battle.
In June, the Westtown (Pa.) five-star center named seven finalists in his recruitment: Duke, Florida State, Kentucky, Michigan, Penn State, Southern Cal, and UNC. He’s taken official visits to Duke, Kentucky, and UNC.
Lively is the highest-ranked prospect among the 2022 Duke Blue Devils offer recipients at No. 5 overall on the 247Sports 2022 Composite.
Is Duke basketball competing against the G League for Dereck Lively?
With a guaranteed half-million dollars as an option, one must wonder if Dereck Lively’s list will expand to include the pro route. At the same time, though, with the NIL ruling in full effect, a few current Blue Devils, Wildcats, and Tar Heels may prove next season that a one-and-done season of high-profile college hoops can be more lucrative than a one-year stop in the G League.
Right now, the 247Sports Crystal Ball gives Kentucky the advantage in the Lively race, yet there is only one entered pick to date. Meanwhile, the 7-foot-1, 220-pound nimble big man has not specified an exact timeline for announcing what he’ll do after his upcoming senior year of high school.
The Blue Devils already hold two verbal commitments from Lively’s class in Montverde (Fla.) five-star small forward Dariq Whitehead and Wilbraham & Monson (Mass.) four-star power forward Kyle Filipowski.
Three other rising seniors boast Duke offers: Sunrise Christian (Kan.) five-star small forward Mark Mitchell, Coppell (Texas) four-star combo guard Anthony Black, and La Lumiere (Ind.) four-star point guard JJ Starling.