Greatest All Time NBA Players from the Duke Blue Devils

The Duke Blue Devils are a mainstay in modern college basketball. The system continues to produce some of the best talents in the sport ever since Coach K took over. A plethora of talent traverses to top-level basketball and Nitrobetting shares a list of the five greatest NBA players from Duke.

The 5 Greatest NBA Players from Duke of All Time

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5. J.J. Redick

Redick produced some of the most exciting basketball in his senior year for Duke. The guard clashed with Gonzaga’s Adam Morrison for the national scoring title. But, that’s not the only memorable moment from his college career. J.J Redick also holds the NCAA record with 457 career three-pointers made. He is among the best shooters to come out of Coach K’s program. Redick also holds the ACC record with a .912 career free-throw percentage and the team-high record with 2,769 career points.

Although he had a tough time acclimatizing to the NBA’s standards, Redick found his footing with the Magic. He established himself as part of the more reliable guards to come out of the team’s bench and averaged 10.1 points per game and shot 40% from deep in 2010. If you take away his 2016-17 season in the NBA, you will find that Redick has increased his point per game numbers since his second year in 2008. J.J is an all-time shooter and ranks 15th on overall leaders in three-point shooting.

4. Luol Deng

Deng averaged 15.1 points per game in his freshman year under Coach Mike Krzyzewski and entered the NBA after being drafted seventh overall by the Chicago Bulls. His time with Duke was short-lived because his skills as a teenager can hold up to the pro basketball standards. Deng recorded 18.8 points per game by his third year in the league and played with the Bulls for 10 seasons, capping his stay with 16.1 points per game.

Offense is not the only value Luol Deng brings to the table. He was also a competent defender that allowed him to become a two-time All-Star and an All-Defensive team playing for coach Tom Thibodeau. Although he was remembered when he faced injury issues, no one can take away the fact that he added good value to teams during his peak.

3. Jayson Tatum

Jayson Tatum takes the third spot in the top five. We’ve seen the forward grow and improve since getting drafted in 2017. His playmaking abilities also add plenty of value to the Celtics’ lineup. From scoring threats to defensive abilities, Tatum can do it all for his side. It’s reasonable to say that he is the best player on the team and can help the franchise shine in the playoffs, and even win a chip.

At the time of this writing, Tatum hits 38.1% of his three-point attempts. His defining trait is his ability to create shots for himself at the most crucial of times. By 24, he is already a three-time NBA All-Star. We expect his trajectory to improve if he continues at this pace. But one thing’s for sure, he is already a part of the greatest NBA players in Duke history.

2. Kyrie Irving

Irving is arguably in the company of the best guards in basketball history. He is a seven-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA player. However, it’s ironic that one of the best players in the game right now had the least impact while at Duke. His college basketball career was short-lived due to injury. This limited Irving to just 11 games. But, that didn’t stop Irving from becoming the first overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft. He was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers and supplied the franchise with what they were lacking.

Kyrie Irving showcased his handles and finishing abilities that filled the void left by LeBron James. But after James returned to his hometown, the duo brought the Cleveland Cavaliers its first NBA Championship title in 2016. Kyrie managed to record 70.6 win shares so far. We only expect his numbers to improve in his prime, making him one of the best NBA players to suit up for Duke University.

1. Grant Hill

Grant Hill is one of the greatest two-way players during his time in college basketball and the NBA. He played a crucial role in Duke’s two national championship titles and a third title game in 1994. Hill holds the seventh-best record in steals (218) in Duke History and his 1,924 points rank him 16th in the team. The unique characteristics of Grant Hill made him a valuable asset in the NBA. He made the All-Star team as a rookie as he recorded impressive numbers. He went on to appear in six consecutive All-Star teams.

What derailed Grant HIll’s NBA career was his injuries, which displayed a major decline in his mid to late 30s. He remained a solid role player for the Suns in the final years of his professional career. But there’s no denying that he was among the best all-around forwards during his prime. Hill played superior defense while averaging 25.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game.

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