Although he didn’t hear his name called on Draft night, David Duke has signed with the Brooklyn Nets as an undrafted free agent. Duke was projected as a potential late second round pick but will still have an opportunity to make a Nets roster that is filled with stars (Durant, Harden, Irving) but in desperate need of depth due to constant injuries, rest, age, and lack of serviceable bench players in general. The team was able to add some pieces late in the season (Blake Griffin, Mike James) but the majority of their roster moves ended up being waived (LaMarcus Aldridge, Iman Shumpert, Andre Roberson, Noah Vonleh).
The Nets did snatch up two additional backcourt players in the Draft with Cam Thomas of LSU and the very familiar Marcus Zegarowski from Creighton. Duke had many battles with Zegarowski during their time in the Big East and the two would actually make a hell of a pair in a backcourt with each being able to play off the ball at times and Duke being able to guard the more proficient offensive guard on the other team. The Nets, as currently built, don’t really need additional playmakers on their team because they already have to find enough touches for their Big Three. What they do need, are shooters and defenders. Cam Thomas can certainly stroke it, but he is an obvious liability on the defensive end. Zegarowski is was a career 42% three-point shooter for the Blue Jays and would seemingly fit right into a rotation as both a spot-up shooter and additional ball-handler. Duke himself was a career 38% three-point shooter for the Friars and his struggles that arose at times last season were when he felt pressured to need to create his own offense and his inconsistency to finish around the rim in doing so, would not be something that is needed on the Brooklyn Nets. Essentially, he could focus on the two aspects of his game that have grown the most in college, his ability to hit threes and defend.
Duke ranked 1st or 2nd on the team in basically every major statistical category during his Junior season last year. He averaged 16.8 ppg (2nd), 6.3 rpg (2nd), 4.8 apg (1st), & 1.3 SPG (1st) over the course of the season, playing a team-high 37.1 minutes per game while not missing a single contest which is another plus in showing his durability as a player as well.For real though, how fucking baller does Duke look rocking the Liberian flag on Draft night? I only wish I could look that cool.
“This opportunity means everything to me. Coming from where I’m from not many have gotten an opportunity at the NBA so to be here is a blessing. However, I do feel I have a ton to prove so I’m going in with a chip on my shoulder,”– David Duke
The Summer League begins on August 8th in Las Vegas and Brooklyn’s first game is set to be against Memphis on Monday, August 9 at 5:00 PM. It will be played in the Cox Pavilion on the UNLV campus and will be televised on ESPN2. I will certainly be tuning in to root on the former Friar.