Duke basketball: Only one prospect lands invitation to NBA Draft

Duke basketball forward Dariq Whitehead and center Dereck Lively (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke basketball forward Dariq Whitehead and center Dereck Lively (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

Only one Duke basketball draft prospect landed an invitation to the green room. 

Dereck Lively II might be the only Duke basketball player to get significant television time during the NBA Draft on Thursday night after he received an invitation to the draft green room, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

Lively is an intriguing prospect due to his raw athleticism and elite defensive, and shot blocking, potential.

The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native was the No. 3 player in the Class of 2022, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, but a calf strain limited the 7-foot-1 center’s development during the preseason with the Blue Devils.

Dereck Lively averaged 5.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game in his lone season in Durham while shooting 65.8-percent from the field as he was named to the ACC All-Defensive Team and All-Freshman Team.

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However, Lively made his major introduction to the college basketball world when he posted 14 rebounds and eight blocks in a victory against North Carolina on February 4.

Givony’s latest mock draft on ESPN has Dereck Lively being selected as the No. 10 overall pick by the Dallas Mavericks.

Other Duke basketball prospect could still be at NBA Draft.

Dariq Whitehead is the only other Blue Devil that will hear his named called in the NBA Draft but due to his uncertain draft status he did not land an invitation to the green room.

Whitehead recently underwent a second surgery on his broken foot that he suffered last August ahead of his freshman season at Duke after the initial surgery did not see the bone properly heal.

The No. 2 player in his high school class still played in 28 games for Duke this season and averaged 8.3 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.0 assist per contest on 42.1-percent from the field and 42.9-percent from 3-point range.

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A Newark, New Jersey native, Whitehead could still attend the NBA Draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, approximately 14 miles from his hometown, and sit in VIP seats adjacent to the draft stage.

Dariq Whitehead is slotted to go No. 30 overall to the Los Angeles Clippers, according to Givony’s mock draft.

The NBA Draft begins on Thursday, June 22 (8:00p.m. ET, ESPN).

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