NBA Players

List Of Every Duke Players In The NBA

By Abhay Acharya / 19 December 2023 11:09 AM

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Duke is a springboard to the NBA's upper echelons and a basketball factory. The program's focus on mental toughness, teamwork, and fundamentals produces valuable players in the league.

The Blue Devils' varied skill set is evident in everything they do, from Williamson's gravity-defying dunks to Ingram's flawless fadeaway to Irving's deft ball-handling.

A tribute to Coach K's outstanding coaching and the program's unwavering pursuit of perfection, over 90 Duke alumni have played in the NBA over time.

1. Kyrie Irving

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  • Team - Dallas Mavericks

The words "Kyrie Irving" conjure images of breathtaking handles, captivating footwork, and clutch baskets that stretch the limits of basketball.

However, he was a Blue Devil, working his magic at Duke University before illuminating the NBA stage after being drafted first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2011.

Irving had a fast-paced career at Duke. He averaged 17.5 points and 4.3 assists in one season, helping the Blue Devils advance to the Sweet Sixteen.

After making the historic game-winning basket in 2016, Irving won the NBA championship and became known as one of the league's most talented and captivating players.

2. Jayson Tatum

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  • Team - Boston Celtics

Basketball legend Duke has a long history, and its newest star, Jayson Christopher Tatum, is no exception. He played college basketball for the Duke for the 2016-17 season.

His scoring ability is a symphony of numbers, as he went from being a freshman sensation to an NBA All-Star MVP.

He has been refined in Coach K's system and shoots 35.6% from three-point range. He also has a 79.0% free throw percentage, which displays his cool-headedness.

3. Mason Plumlee

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  • Team - Los Angeles Clippers

Mason Alexander Plumlee is a cornerstone of defensive perseverance, even while Duke's former players display spectacular offensive displays.

The 6'10" center, drafted 22nd overall in 2013 by the Brooklyn Nets, has made a name for himself as a force on the glass and in defense.

His career-high 9.3 rebounds per game in the 2020-21 season was notable with the Pistons, which ranked him 14th in the NBA.

4. Brandon Ingram

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  • Team - New Orleans Pelicans

The smooth-shooting forward with a lethal fadeaway, Brandon Xavier Ingram, is not only a star on the New Orleans Pelicans but a bright illustration of Duke's pathway to NBA glory.

During his time at Duke, Ingram demonstrated his versatility and scoring ability, averaging 17.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game.

5. Seth Curry

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  • Team - Dallas Mavericks

Steph Curry may be the current three-point shooting champion, but his brother Seth Adham Curry is building his dynasty among Duke's NBA alums.

Seth has a sharpshooting ability refined in the harsh environment of Coach K's program, which is not merely a family characteristic.

With a career three-point percentage of 38.1%, Seth is among the best in the league. He joined the NBA in 2013 as an undrafted free agent with the Memphis Grizzlies.

6. RJ Barrett

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  • Team - New York Knicks

Among the legendary names in Duke basketball history is Rowan Alexander "RJ" Barrett Jr., the most recent Blue Devil to make an impact in the NBA.

Barrett was more than just a scorer at Duke; he was a showman. He led the Blue Devils to the ACC Championship games and was named to the AP All-American team with an average of 22.6 points per game.

Barrett has carried over his Duke domination to the NBA, averaging 18.2 points per game in his brief tenure.

7. Tyus Jones

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  • Team - Washington Wizards

In addition to becoming an NBA player, Tyus Robert Jones is a living example of how Duke's point guard curriculum can produce exceptional players.

He was a stat sheet stuffer at Duke with 11.8 points, 5.6 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. His 37.9% three-point shooting demonstrated his deadly outside threat.

Jones, drafted 24th overall in 2015, has had an inspiring NBA career. He has settled in with the Washington Wizards after stints with the Memphis Grizzlies and Minnesota Timberwolves.

8. Gary Trent Jr.

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  • Team - Toronto Raptors

With his Duke heritage visible in every stride, Gary Dajaun Trent Jr. is a walking highlight reel, having gone from Coach K's crucible to the NBA spotlight.

He was selected 37th overall in the 2018 NBA Draft and has developed into a phenomenal shooter, averaging 17.4 points per game in the 2022–23 season.

9. Luke Kennard

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  • Team - Memphis Grizzlies

Luke Douglas Kennard's transformation from Duke sensation to Memphis Grizzlies sharpshooter is evidence of his accuracy with the ball and unwavering work ethic.

Kennard, selected 12th overall in the 2017 NBA Draft, developed under Coach K's system, averaging 19.5 points per game and shooting an incredible 43.8% from three as a sophomore.

He ranks among the top in the team in three-pointers made (2.1 per game) and averages 8.3 points per game, making him a vital component of Memphis' explosive offense.

10. Zion Williamson

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  • Team - New Orleans Pelicans

Zion's rookie year stats at Duke—22.6 points per game, 8.9 rebounds, and an impressive collection of gravity-defying dunks—remain famous.

His 45-inch vertical is a weapon and a statistic; it helps him control the paint and average 0.5 blocks per game with the Pelicans.

During his college years at Duke, Williamson was named the National College Player of the Year, ACC Athlete of the Year, ACC Player of the Year, and ACC Rookie of the Year in 2019.

11. Wendell Carter Jr.

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  • Team - Orlando Magic

The most recent Duke graduate to play in the NBA, Wendell Andre Carter Jr., is a rising star whose stat line is as impressive as his alma mater's history.

After an outstanding rookie season, averaging 13.5 points and 9.1 rebounds, Carter Jr. was selected seventh overall in the 2018 NBA Draft. He has since established himself as a critical member of the Orlando Magic's frontcourt.

12. Marvin Bagley III

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  • Team - Detroit Pistons

Marvin Bagley III, the Duke sensation and 2018 Consensus All-American, was more than simply a highlight reel throughout college.

In the NBA, he is forging his route while displaying the abilities that got him selected second overall.

13. Cam Reddish

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  • Team - Los Angeles Lakers

Cameron Elijah Reddish, the 6'7" wing with a seemingly endless wingspan, is more than just another Duke product in the NBA.

2019 saw Reddish selected 10th overall in the draft; his 40-inch vertical and fluid shooting stroke promised him greatness.

His 33.3% three-point percentage gave indications of a solid offensive toolkit. There's no denying his talent, and his Duke lineage points to a lofty potential.

14. Grayson Allen

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  • Team - Phoenix Suns

While not the first to pop in mind considering accomplished Duke alums, Grayson James Allen's deft playmaking and accurate shooting make him an invaluable member of the Phoenix Suns.

Throughout his college career, he has averaged over 1.0 steals a game, disrupting passing lanes and forcing turnovers with quick hands and anticipation.

The 2015 NCAA champion Allen is a skillful rim-finisher who averages 43.9% on field goals from three feet or less.

15. Paolo Banchero

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  • Team - Orlando Magic

With a scoring touch as smooth as his espresso, Paolo Napoleon James Banchero, the 6'10" Italian sensation, is more than just another Duke product in the NBA.

With his diverse skill set, Paolo can paint the league like a walking highlight reel. He was selected 1st overall in the 2022 draft because of his impressive post moves and 35-inch vertical leap.

With an average of 17.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, he demonstrated his ability to intimidate opponents in the paint or score from downtown (33.8% three-point shooting).

16. Harry Giles

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  • Team - Brooklyn Nets

The Nets' power forward Harry Lee Giles II's basketball IQ and natural talent were evident when he was selected 20th overall in the 2017 draft by the Portland Trail Blazers.

Despite injury to the knee throughout college, he demonstrated his post moves and passing abilities, averaging 3.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game at Duke. His free throw percentage of 50.0% suggested a well-honed attacking toolkit.

17. Tre Jones

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  • Team - San Antonio Spurs

Not just another Duke floor general in the NBA, Tre Isiah Jones is a 6'1" point guard with a heart the size of Cameron Indoor. He is the force behind the San Antonio Spurs' oppressive defense.

He was named an All-ACC player and the ACC Player of the Year in 2020 after averaging 12.4 points, 5.8 assists, and 1.8 steals per game.

He is the cornerstone of the Spurs' inexperienced backcourt, averaging 1.4 steals per 36 minutes. At 112.0, he has one of the best defensive ratings in the league.

18. AJ Griffin

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  • Team - Atlanta Hawks

Adrian Darnell "AJ" Griffin Jr. is the most recent Blue Devil to succeed in the NBA. He was selected 16th overall in the 2022 draft by the Hawks, and his agility and fluid shooting motion are drawing attention.

Griffin played a significant role in the Duke team's accomplishments. In each game, he scored 10.4 points, pulled down 3.9 rebounds, and shot an impressive 44.7% from three points out.

19. Mark Williams

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  • Team - Charlotte Hornets

Mark Oluwafemi Williams, the former Duke center, is a force to be reckoned with in the paint at 7'0" and 240 pounds.

He blocks 1.0 shots each game, pulls down 7.9 rebounds per game, and alters numerous attempts to gauge his influence.

With his rim-rattling dunks and skyscraping rejections, he's a human highlight reel. 64.2% of his field goals are converted, thanks to his perfect touch around the rim.

20. Jalen Johnson

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  • Team - Atlanta Hawks

Jalen Tyrese Johnson's NBA career hasn't played like a Duke script. An acclaimed five-star talent, he departed from Duke in the middle of the 2021 season to refine his skills.

The Atlanta Hawks took a chance on him by selecting him 20th overall in the 2021 draft because of his obvious talent.

Jalen's impressive combination of agility and scoring is evident as he averages 14.1 points and 7.3 rebounds during the 2023-24 season.

His 1.0 blocks per game and 59.4% field goal percentage demonstrate his improved all-around game.

21. Dereck Lively II

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  • Team - Dallas Mavericks

The 7-foot-1 sensation Dereck Jerome Lively II, who thrilled Cameron Indoor the previous season, has arrived in Dallas and is prepared to begin his NBA career.

At Duke, he had an instant impact, averaging 5.2 points and 5.4 rebounds, but his actual standout performance was on defense.

22. Marques Bolden

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  • Team - Milwaukee Bucks

The 6'10" center Marques "Joyo" Terrell Bolden isn't your usual NBA alumnus. His path to the Milwaukee Bucks from Texas to Indonesia is evidence of his talent and tenacity.

Bolden had a bright career at Duke, averaging 3.8 points and 3.3 rebounds per game while displaying his agility and blocking ability.

By scoring a commanding 21.8 points and 11.3 rebounds per game, he led Indonesia to its first-ever gold medal at the Southeast Asian Games in 2022.

23. Wendell Moore Jr.

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  • Team - Minnesota Timberwolves

Wendell Horace Moore Jr. was selected 26th overall in the 2022 draft by the Timberwolves.

Moore was a multi-talented player at Duke, averaging 10.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per contest. 

His path to the NBA hasn't been easy. He has alternated between the Minnesota Timberwolves and their G League affiliate, the Iowa Wolves.

24. Dariq Whitehead

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  • Team - Brooklyn Nets

The 6'6" freshman sensation Dariq Miller-Whitehead, who wowed Duke with his rapid athleticism, has officially joined the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA as a 22nd overall pick in the 2023 draft.

Although his 8.3 PPG and 2.4 RPG college season numbers don't exactly shout "superstar," his 42.4% three-point shooting and flashes of explosive dunks indicate a lofty ceiling.

Whitehead, led by Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, has the ideal atmosphere for learning and development.