The Duke basketball draft decisions are officially in the rearview mirror.
It came down to the wire, but there really wasn’t that much of a decision for Duke basketball freshman AJ Griffin in terms of the 2022 NBA Draft.
Griffin became the fifth Blue Devil to enter his name into the draft on Sunday afternoon.
The deadline for underclassmen to enter the draft was 11:59 p.m. Sunday.
Mark Williams, Paolo Banchero, Wendell Moore, and Trevor Keels all entered the draft earlier in the week while Jeremy Roach announced his intentions to return to the Blue Devils for his junior season.
“As I declare for the 2022 NBA Draft, I am filled with gratitude. It was an honor to play for Duke and represent The Brotherhood,” Griffin said in a press release.
“It was a dream come true. My experiences have helped prepare me for this moment and I am proud to know I will be a Blue Devil for life.”
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Griffin averaged 10.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.0 assist per game while shooting 49.3-percent from the floor and a scorching 44.7-percent from 3-point range in his freshman season.
The White Plains, New York native was named to the ACC All-Rookie Team after entering Durham as a consensus five-star prospect out of Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.).
“AJ [Griffin] was one of best shooters in the nation and his skillset is exactly what NBA teams are looking for,” Mike Krzyzewski said.
“He is a remarkable young man that comes from a beautiful family and we’re certainly going to miss them. AJ [Griffin] showed up every day with a smile on his face and his positive energy was infectious.”
Duke basketball looking for another Top-10 selection
Paolo Banchero is a lock to be selected in the Top-10, perhaps the Top-3 of the 2022 NBA Draft, and it appears likely that AJ Griffin will join him as a lottery selection.
Griffin is projected to go No. 8 overall to the New Orleans Pelicans in the latest mock draft from ESPN.
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New Orleans, despite being a playoff team, will have a lottery pick due to the Anthony Davis trade that sent the All-Star from the Pelicans to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Brandon Ingram, others, and draft picks.
Ingram has the Pelicans on the verge of upsetting the top-seeded Phoenix Suns and a chance at landing another superstar in this June’s draft.
The 2022 NBA Draft is scheduled for Thursday, June 23 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.