5 Best NBA Players From Duke University From 1999- Present.
During my entire lifetime of sports-viewership, Coach Mike Krzyzewski has been at the helm for the Duke Blue Devils as head basketball coach. He’s been head coach for 36 years and is the only Division I men’s basketball coach to record 1,000 victories.
Duke University produced many notable players during the 1990’s. If Grant Hill wasn’t bitten by the injury bug, he could have been one of the greatest players in NBA History. Christian Laettner wasn’t too bad either.
Since 1999, there have been a great deal of NBA players with solid NBA Careers that have once played in front of the Cameron Crazies. Without further ado, here are the 5 best NBA players from Duke University since 1999.
Corey Maggette was drafted 13th by the Seattle Supersonics, but was traded to the Orlando Magic in a deal that included Horace Grant. One year later, he would be traded once again to the Los Angeles Clippers. Corey Maggette averaged over 20.0 points per game in three of his eight seasons as a Clipper.
Corey Maggette’s only postseason appearance came during the 2005-2006 season. Plagued by injuries during the regular season, he stepped up and averaged 15.3 points per game during the postseason while mostly coming off of the bench.
Overall, Corey Maggette averaged 16.0 PPG in thirteen NBA seasons.
Luol Deng was drafted 7th by the Bulls in the 2004 NBA Draft. He made an immediate impact as he earned 1st team All NBA Rookie honors. In his thirteen year career, Luol Deng has never averaged below double-digits in scoring. During the 2006-2007 season, Deng started all 82 games and averaged 18.1 PPG. Luol Deng was named to the All-Star team during the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 NBA seasons. During those seasons, Luol Deng was practically an iron man. He led the NBA in minutes per game during both of those years.
Currently, Luol Deng plays for the Miami Heat.
Carlos Boozer was drafted in the second round by the Cavaliers in the 2002 NBA Draft. Carlos Boozer’s career took off when he played with Deron Williams on the Utah Jazz. Carlos Boozer played his best ball during the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 seasons. In addition to being named as an All-Star during those years, Boozer posted averages of 20.9 PPG and 21.1 PPG respectively.
In seven of his thirteen seasons, Carlos Boozer was in the top 10 in the NBA as far as field goal percentage is concerned. He was in the top 10 in rebounds per game five times.
Elton Brand was the 1st overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls. This guy was no bust. Elton Brand averaged 20.1 ppg during his rookie season and was named NBA Rookie of the Year. In 17 seasons, he averaged over 20.0 ppg six times. Elton Brand led the league in offensive rebounds during the 1999-2000 and 2001-2002 seasons. A two time All Star, Elton Brand’s finest season was the 2005-2006 season. During that year, he averaged a career high 24.7 points per game and led the Los Angeles Clippers to the second round of the playoffs.
Kyrie Irving may be headed to the Hall of Fame at the speed of light. Irving was the top pick in the 2011 draft. After winning the NBA Rookie of the Year award, he averaged 20.0 PPG three seasons in a row. Irving was named to the All-Star Team in all of those aforementioned seasons. In 2013-2014, he won the NBA All Star Game MVP.
Of course, Irving’s finest hour came during the 2015-2016 NBA Finals. Kyrie Irving averaged 27.1 points per game and helped the Cavaliers give the city of Cleveland its first sports championship in over 50 years.