As Duke battles North Carolina Friday night in the ACC Tournament, there could be three to four first-round picks on display according to one NBA Mock Draft for 2018. The talented Duke team features one of the nation’s top prospects in Marvin Bagley III, who has been speculated to go within the first three picks. In addition, they could have two more players drafted within the top 15, and Grayson Allen could be the fourth to go before the round has ended. Here’s a look at where each of these players could land for their professional careers.
The 6-foot-11 forward Marvin Bagley III is considered the team’s best player and one of the best in the nation. As of this report, NBADraft.net only ranks Arizona’s DeAndre Ayton and Michael Porter ahead of Bagley on their mock draft. The Blue Devils’ phenomenon achieved a double-double in his ACC Tournament quarterfinals game against Notre Dame as he continues to audition for a roster in the NBA. Bagley is currently 25th in the nation in scoring with his 21.2 points per game average and sixth overall in rebounding (11.4 per game).
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— Duke Basketball (@DukeMBB) March 9, 2018
Bagley is being touted as possibly the most talented prospect in this draft, and if so, he could go early. Several teams could land him at the No. 3 pick, depending on who gets it, with the Mavs holding a 35.8 percent chance of getting a top-five pick. With Dirk Nowitzki winding down his career, bringing in Bagley to the franchise as they rebuild may be the best move. Of course, several other teams would love to acquire him in the NBA Draft, including the Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks, and Memphis Grizzlies, among others.
His teammate, Wendell Carter, is a 6-foot-10 power forward/center that could go within the top 10. Carter, who has had injury concerns during the ACC Tournament, has already impressed NBA scouts at the Nike Academy. In addition, he has displayed a solid post game with a seven-foot wingspan and nine-foot standing reach. The freshman, who averages a near double-double with 13.8 points and 9.3 rebounds per game, is listed as a potential pick for the Orlando Magic at the No. 7 spot.
Bringing Carter to Orlando would pair him up with a team that is on the rise, as Aaron Gordon hasn’t quite reached All-Star status just yet, but is looking better by the game. With a frontcourt consisting of Carter and Gordon, Orlando’s days outside of the playoff picture could be over sooner rather than later.
— Wendell Carter Jr (@wendellcarter34) November 23, 2016
Shooting guard Gary Trent, Jr. is yet another Blue Devil expected to go within the first 15 picks. As of this report, NBADraft.net has him heading to the Phoenix Suns, a team that doesn’t necessarily need that position filled due to the fact they have star player Devin Booker. Still, Trent, Jr. could serve as a fresh backup off the bench. The son of former NBA player Gary Trent, he’s currently averaging 14.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game this season for Duke. The expectations are that he’s got the potential to improve once he matures in the NBA.
The fourth and final player from Mike Krzyzewski’s latest roster that could go in the NBA Draft’s first round is Grayson Allen. The shooting guard brings the most experience of the prospects mentioned here. At age 22, he’s played four seasons under Coach K and came into the school heralded as a “knockdown shooter.”
The 6-foot-5 guard isn’t exactly J.J. Redick, but has shown he’s got a 62.4 percent “true shooting percentage” during his college career, according to Draft.net‘s player profile. Still, he may need to really impress a team in the tournaments and this summer to land a decent spot. Allen, who has been compared to NBA player Courtney Lee, is projected to possibly wind up going to Chicago as the No. 24 pick.
Chicago will also have a pick higher up in the draft where they may opt for talented Alabama point guard Collin Sexton. Basically, the Bulls have some wiggle room and Grayson Allen could be a great addition to their bench moving forward, but shouldn’t be expected to become an NBA All-Star.
One thing is abundantly clear, based on the NBA mock draft speculation heading into the summer, and that is the Duke Blue Devils will once again send plenty of potential talent to the professional level. Whether or not these four players will be draft stars or busts remains to be seen, but all four players have the ability to contribute to teams on the next level, in varying degrees.