5 Best Duke Basketball Alumni in the NBA in 2024

23 Blue Devils are representing Duke in the NBA right now. Here are the best five.
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
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2- Kyrie Irving

The only NBA champion on this list, Kyrie Irving has consistently been one of the best offensive guards in the NBA. Former No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Irving started collecting accolades immediately.

Starting with the Rookie of the Year as a 19-year-old, Irving continued to find incredible individual and team success throughout his career. Three-time All-NBA, eight-time All-Star, and most importantly one-time NBA champion with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Irving has already built himself a Hall-of-Fame career.

Now with the Dallas Mavericks playing alongside superstar Luka Doncic, Uncle Drew is always a threat in the playoffs to make a deep postseason run. He is averaging 25.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 5.3 assists on impressive 49.3/42.1/88.5 shooting splits.

He has missed more games than he would like over the past few seasons but at age 31, Irving is still as efficient and dynamic a scorer as anyone in the NBA.

1- Jayson Tatum

This one is a no-brainer. A perennial MVP candidate, the best player on the best team in the NBA: Jayson Tatum.

After having a successful freshman season at Duke, Tatum was a fast riser on the draft boards, culminating in him being selected third overall by the Boston Celtics in the 2017 NBA Draft. Starting in his rookie year, Tatum has been a mainstay in the Eastern Conference contenders.

Tatum is only 25 years old and in his seventh year in the NBA. However, he is already one of the most playoff-experienced players in the league. He has already played in a whopping 94 playoff games as the Celtics only failed to make at least the second round once in his tenure.

The All-NBA forward is as consistent and reliable as they come. He doesn't miss games, plays both ends of the floor, and contributes to all aspects of the game. Thus, he has made five straight All-Star appearances and is on his way to a third consecutive All-NBA First Team and a top-five MVP finish. He is averaging 26.9 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists on the championship favorite Boston Celtics.

You are simply not going to find too many more accomplished players at age 25 than Jayson Tatum in NBA history.

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