As Duke fans, we all want to see similar things. We want a championship and to see the players go on and be successful, whether that is in the NBA or overseas in places like Spain (Kyle Singler) or even Israel (Jon Scheyer). Here is the breakdown on each Duke player and their chances on making it professionally:
Jabari Parker: Do I even need to write anything for him? His skillset is evident. He can handle the ball well for a player his size, has very good range on his jumper, plays defense as well as anybody, and is an overall tremendous player. His basketball IQ is through the roof, but we have to remember that he hasn’t played a single minute of college basketball. Although, the way NBA recruits are, they draft based on potential, not necessarily what is shown through their actual stats.
NBA: Top 3 pick in upcoming 2014 draft if he decides to leave after this season. If he decides to stay an extra year and leave after his sophomore year, he will almost already be the #1 overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft. I wouldn’t hold my breath on the second option though.
Tyler Thornton: Recently named co-captain by Coach Krzyzewski, Thornton has been a spark off the bench every season so far. He has shown flashes of playing well, knocking down 3’s and playing tremendous defense. He hasn’t developed into a great player, but has still shown he can play at the collegiate level.
NBA: Late second round pick – signing undrafted to practice squads. The only reason that I would say Thornton might get even just a shot to play in the NBA is because of his defense. Teams are always looking to improve their defense and are willing to sacrifice offense for defense sometimes. I do feel he can play a few seasons, but I would most likely predict that he plays overseas.
Andre Dawkins: After taking the previous season off, Dawkins is back with the Blue Devils, looking help the team in any way possible. He has shown flashes of possibly being not just a good player, but a great player. At one point his Junior year, he knocked down 6 straight threes and hit numerous clutch shots in his Duke career. His athleticism is there too. His fault though is two things: One is his inconsistency, which we all know about. To go along with his 6 straight 3’s, he wouldn’t hit a shot the next three or four games. Two, he has become too one-dimensional. He only shoots 3’s and barely drives the lane.
NBA: Second round pick-European league. I do feel Dawkins’ three-point ability will land him with an NBA team, whether it is through the draft or signing afterwards. If that doesn't play out, I can see him playing in Europe or elsewhere professionally.
Alex Murphy: This is one that I am having a lot of trouble figuring out. Murphy has so much talent and every fan, coach, and teammate of his knows it. He is super athletic, has a decent jumper, and can drive the land very well. He has often been one of Duke’s best practice players, but his anxiety and nervousness has come over him occasionally. He lacks confidence in himself, which is half the reason as to why we haven’t seen him on the court as much. He has shown that he can play, but I don’t have a real answer yet for Alex.
NBA: TBD, but definitely has the skills for the NBA and absolutely to play overseas.
Rasheed Sulaimon: Sulaimon stepped up big time in his first season at Duke. At many times he was called on to make a stop on defense or was the person to hit a big shot. The sky is the limit for Rasheed. He improved throughout the season which is what you want to see, you want to seem him critique his game for the better. The reason I feel he will be a pro is not just because he is quick off the bounce, a good and getting better defender, or the fact that he has a very nice jump shot. He will be an NBA player because he wants to change and get better. I am not saying the others don't, but as a freshman, to see the improvement from game to game even when he was in a slump is what is convincing me that he will be an NBA player.
NBA: Late first round-early second round as of now, including improvements made going into this season. Sulaimon has the will to win and the determination shown in one year that have convinced me that he can and I feel will be a pro.