Duke’s run of stocking the NBA Draft lottery continued Thursday night and it doesn’t show any signs of abating.
When Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter Jr. were the No. 2 and No. 7 picks, Duke had produced multiple lottery selections for the third time in the last four seasons. At least one Blue Devil has been selected among the draft’s first 14 picks (the lottery) in each of the last five drafts.
Sacramento selecting Bagley and Chicago taking Carter allowed those players to join Jayson Tatum (Boston, 2017), Luke Kennard (Detroit, 2017), Brandon Ingram (Los Angeles Lakers, 2016 ), Jahlil Okafor (Philadelphia, 2015), Justise Winslow (Miami, 2015) and Jabari Parker (Milwaukee, 2014) among Duke’s eight lottery picks over the last five years.
So with the 2018 draft now history, what are Duke’s chances of continuing its lottery streak in 2019?
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Gary Parrish of CBSsports.com published a 2019 mock lottery on Friday even though the next draft is 364 days away.
His No. 1 overall pick? Duke freshman R.J. Barrett.
Two other Duke freshmen -- forwards Cam Reddish and Zion Williamson -- are also projected as lottery picks.
Parrish projects Triangle freshmen as the top three picks -- Barrett, North Carolina’s Nassir Little and Reddish.
Over at thebiglead.com, Jason McIntyre has Barrett No. 1 and Reddish No. 2 on his early 2019 mock draft. He also lists Little (No. 6) and Williamson (No. 7) as lottery picks.
At SBNation.com, Ricky O’Connell took a different approach, even though it still focuses on the Blue Devils.
He has Reddish as the No. 1 player in the 2019 draft, with Barrett No. 2. Little is No. 3 with Williamson at No. 5.
In addition to Duke’s large number of lottery picks, the Blue Devils tied a program record Thursday night as four players were selected in the two-round draft.
Senior guard Grayson Allen went No. 21 to Utah, giving Duke three first-round picks. Freshman guard Gary Trent Jr., was picked No. 37 by Sacramento and traded to Portland. Point guard Trevon Duvall was not drafted.
It’s the second year in a row Duke has had four players drafted. Four Blue Devils were also picked in the 1986 and 1999 drafts.
Duke has now produced 18 first-round picks over the last 10 drafts with at least one in each of the last eight years.