Duke basketball: Final mock draft for Dereck Lively, Dariq Whitehead

Duke basketball forward Dariq Whitehead (Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball forward Dariq Whitehead (Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports) /

NBA Draft day has come for Duke basketball prospects Dereck Lively and Dariq Whitehead. 

The biggest night in the careers of Duke basketball players Dereck Lively and Dariq Whitehead has finally arrived with the 2023 NBA Draft taking place on Thursday night.

Both prospect endured tough times in their one season as a Blue Devil but each have responded to put themselves in a position to be selected in the first round.

Lively, one of the fastest rising prospects in the pre-draft process, has showcased his skillset on the defensive side of the basketball and the ability to guard any position and be a true rim protecter in the paint.

The 7-foot-1 center is currently slated to be selected as the No. 10 overall pick of the Dallas Mavericks, according to the most recent mock draft from ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

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Dereck Lively dealt with a calf strain in the preseason with Duke but still managed to play 34 games, starting 27, and averaged 5.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game while shooting 65.8-percent from the field and was named to the ACC All-Defensive and All-Freshman Teams.

Dariq Whitehead struggled more with injuries in his only season at Duke after breaking his foot in August and suffering a lower leg strain in January, forcing him to miss seven games because of those two injuries.

Whitehead’s surgically repaired foot did not heal properly which forced him to have another surgery following the season, but he is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.

Duke basketball wing still has major chance to be first round pick

Jonathan Givony still slots the Monteverde Academy (Fla.) product as a first round selection, however, it is the final pick of the first round at No. 30 overall to the Los Angeles Clippers.

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Dariq Whitehead posted 8.3 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.0 assist per game on 42.9-percent shooting from 3-point range this season and could be a major asset off the bench for a team that believes it is a championship contender this upcoming season.

The NBA Draft begins at 8:00p.m. ET (ESPN, ABC) from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

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