Duke basketball players noticeably absent from popular mock draft

Duke basketball forwards Dariq Whitehead and Mark Mitchell (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke basketball forwards Dariq Whitehead and Mark Mitchell (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

Duke basketball players were noticeably absent in a recent popular mock draft. 

Any type of coverage surrounding Sierra Canyon (Calif.) guard Bronny James and his potential in the NBA will gather a lot of buzz because of who his father is but a recent mock draft appears to neglect many Duke basketball players in that pursuit.

In the days leading up to the resumption of the NBA season following the All-Star Break ESPN has been creating a lot of chatter regarding Jonathan Givony’s 2024 mock draft.

Givony, the draft expert at ESPN, made headlines for including Bronny James in his Top-10 after his recent invitation to the McDonald’s All-American Game.

James, the son of NBA icon LeBron James, has continued to improve since being thrusted into the spotlight at such a young age due to his family background but has yet to commit to a college despite his senior season coming to a close.

Some analysts are torn whether James Jr. will be a legit top NBA prospect in a year or that a franchise will draft him early in hopes his father follows him to the organization to make his dream come true of playing with his son in the league.

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It has been reported that the four-star guard has narrowed his college options to Ohio State, Oregon, and USC but that’s not the confusion surrounding Givony’s mock draft.

Jonathan Givony does not have a single incoming Duke freshmen being selected in his 59-pick mock draft.

The Blue Devils will welcome five-star forward Mackenzie Mgbako, five-star forward Sean Stewart, five-star guard Caleb Foster, five-star guard Jared McCain, and five-star forward TJ Power to Durham next winter.

None being selected in the mock draft is mind boggling.

The only players Givony has being selected from Duke in the 2024 NBA Draft are current freshman guard Tyrese Proctor, No. 22 overall, and freshman forward Mark Mitchell, No. 38 overall.

Mgbako, at this stage of his development, feels like a lock to be selected inside the Top-15 of the 2024 NBA Draft and there was chatter at earlier parts of the season if the versatile wing could wind up being a Top-5 selection next June.

Did Givony just forget about Mackenzie Mgbako? Is that possible? Or does he think that he will spend more than one season at Duke?

Expert gives analysis on Duke basketball players in 2023 NBA Draft

Jonathan Givony published his most recent 2023 NBA mock draft earlier in February and it features three Blue Devils; Kyle Filipowski, Dariq Whitehead, and Dereck Lively.

Givony has all three freshmen being selected in the first round of this summer’s draft with Filipowski being grabbed at No. 13 overall while Whitehead and Lively are selected at No. 21 and No. 27 overall, respectively.

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It feels likely that Jeremy Roach will leave the program after this season in pursuit of his professional dreams and given his success in the 2022 NCAA Tournament and overall skillset it’s surprising that he is not listed in the 58-pick mock draft.

There is still plenty of time to discuss the 2023 or 2024 NBA Drafts but not listing a single Duke incoming freshmen in next year’s projection is certainly eye-catching.

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