Zion’s Got Options (Crazy But Possible

Let me inform you of two things:

1. Zion Williamson is yet to sign with an agent.

2. He is also yet to sign a shoe deal.

If you know your NCAA rules, you probably know what this means.

Zion Williamson is technically still eligible in the NCAA.

And is Zion really all that interested in the Pelicans? On The Jump today on ESPN, NBA analyst Brian Windhorst brought up the possibility. Los Angeles and New York are clearly better markets in which to build his brand, which seems all but impossible for at least a few years once he is presumably chosen first in this year’s Draft. Don’t get too excited, but know that it’s a possibility that Zion returns to college, and it’s pretty clear that he left the door open by not signing yet.

Bleed blue. He’s got until May 29th to decide, but the two more likely decisions are Marques Bolden and Javin DeLaurier, both of whom have not yet indicated whether or not they will stay in the draft or return.

NBA Draft Lottery: Pelicans Get #1 Pick, Grizzlies #2, Knicks #3, Lakers #4

Wow. Oh, wow.

While the Draft Lottery is anything but binding thanks to the existence of trades, a potential order of the top-four picks was decided last night by the lottery. The lottery works somewhat strangely, but basically, the fourteen worst teams have a shot at the top pick, though it increases the worse that you get. What’s surprising is that there was a 42% chance that the top pick would go to either the Knicks, the Suns, or the Cavaliers, and yet the latter two didn’t even get a top four pick.

Here come the theories: Adam Silver’s rigged this thing against tanking (when you lose purposefully, a lot, to get draft picks; you can see why, regarding the box office, this doesn’t appeal to the commissioner). Three of the four main tanking teams– Atlanta, Cleveland (it all fell apart when LeBron left), Phoenix, and New York– did not even get a top four pick.

Anyway, surprisingly enough, the New Orleans Pelicans (6% chance) were randomly selected as the team to pick first in next month’s draft. Now for what all of this has to do with Duke: Zion Williamson is at least presumably going to go #1 assuming that general manager David Griffin and the Pels’ front office haven’t lost their minds (wouldn’t put it past them with all this Anthony Davis drama).

The #2 and #3 picks went to Memphis, which has trade implications and could go to Boston, and New York respectively. Ja Morant and RJ Barrett are the two contenders fro these spots; it is likely that when one is taken at that #2 spot the other will follow. Duke fans should probably hope for Memphis for RJ– New York is no place to develop as a young player.

If you follow the NBA even remotely, you’ve probably heard the name Anthony Davis, or “The Brow” (didn’t he get rid of his unibrow?). Davis asked for a trade from New Orleans a couple of months ago, most likely trying to get to LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, but the Lakers couldn’t get something done by the trade deadline on February 7. Davis hardly played for the Pelicans, knowing that he could risk getting injured. This pick has big trade implications regarding that, as well as the picks of Los Angeles and other Davis-contenders. But could the Pelicans decide that the drama is worth it for a Davis-Zion duo?

Bleed blue. The NBA Draft is on June 20. Neither Javin DeLaurier nor Marques Bolden has made any decision on returning to Duke or remaining in the draft. Javin did not get an invite to the NBA Draft Combine after the G-League Combine (prospective draft picks and G-League players combined). There is not yet word on Marques’ status.

Five-Star 2020 Guard Jeremy Roach Commits to Duke

As we wrap up 2019 Recruiting, the 2020 picture is already beginning to look good: Jeremy Roach, a five-star, 6-2 guard from Virginia committed to Duke on Wednesday. Roach is ranked 14th in the ESPN 100 for his year and 2nd at point guard. He is the first verbal commitment on the year to the Brotherhood.

It’s not definite but as Jeremy Roach is a point guard, it’s likely that Roach is the new point guard assuming that our beloved Tre Jones departs after another year or two. There are a few parallels between the two, and after the success he had with Jones, Roach probably appealed most to the coaches out of the point guards that came out of this high school class.

Bleed blue.

Daniel Jones Goes #6 Overall to Giants!

Daniel Jones! As Duke fans, we knew of the talent he possessed and knew he would do well in the NFL (as well as impress the NFL scouts), but at least I never saw this coming! The Duke graduate and former quarterback was selected by the New York Giants as the sixth pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. It’s by far the highest a Duke product has gone since the ’80s.

We can all see, though, why New York wanted him: he is quite literally another Eli Manning. He was coached by David Cutcliffe, has a similar build, and is intelligent about the game. He’s incredibly tough; just about every season in the last 6+ years has been marred by an injury. He went unnoticed by colleges at first because of a wrist injury in high school. He was then, in his freshman season, suddenly thrust into the starting spot by not his own injury but that of Thomas Sirk, a rough season for the freshman, though understandably. Year before last he was injured throughout the season, especially in the stretch in which we lost six games in a row, but carried on through. Last year, he broke his collarbone against Northwestern but returned merely two weeks later. That’s a lot of injuries and yet Jones still emerged as one of the top prospects in the draft; everybody points to the numbers that would suggest that other quarterbacks are more skilled but there’s much more to the story.

New York is a rough place to be, and a lot of fans already disagree with general manager Dave Gettleman’s decision to pass on Josh Allen in order to get Jones instead of taking the quarterback at 17 (where he was likely to still remain). Jones may take a lot of heat before he steps on the field in a Giants uniform, but Duke fans know that Daniel Jones will not disappoint. I believe that he is a reliable future for a struggling franchise (though I’m terribly biased), and I hope others will join me soon. In the meantime, we wish Daniel the best of luck in the big leagues.

Duke Football is left with something of a void after Jones’ departure, as well as those of Joe Giles-Harris and Ben Humphreys. However, we’ve learned not to count out Coach Cutcliffe. Bleed blue.

Cassius Stanley Commits to Duke

Almost guaranteeing Duke its fourth straight #1 recruiting class, 6-5 shooting Cassius Stanley has announced that he will join the Brotherhood as a freshman in 2019. This class went from looking like a big letdown from last year’s 1-2-3 sweep to something Duke fans can get excited about: Boogie Ellis, Wendell Moore, Matthew Hurt, and Vernon Carey all add to a promising season, especially if Javin DeLaurier and Marques Bolden make the decision to return. In all, Tre Jones is the crowning jewel as an experienced, gritty defender whose offensive play this season was lesser than that of his superstar teammates but is looking to make a jump in his sophomore.

Let’s get the hype videos rolling; I’m ready for this season and it’s late April! Bleed blue.