David Duke Jr is one of the newest additions to the Brooklyn Nets roster, with his signing being announced on August 8th. Duke played at Providence University for 3 years and started all 91 games. A terrific junior year saw him be named to the All-BIG EAST Second Team. The Nets were considering taking Duke with one of their second-round picks but decided that it would be beneficial for them and Duke if he went undrafted to allow for a more flexible contract. The Nets then signed him to an Exhibition 10 deal, meaning that they could assign him to the Long Island Nets or have him on a two-way deal.
Duke is a 6’5” shooting guard/small forward with a 39” wingspan. At Providence, he was a great all-around player, as he averaged all career highs his junior year, 16.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 4.8 assists. Defensively, Duke is very active, as he averaged over a steal per game his sophomore and junior years. He uses his athleticism to help him stay in front of players. Duke is also an explosive player who is capable of getting to the basket and finishing lobs with his 39” vertical. He is also a capable shooter, as he shot 42% from behind the arc his sophomore year and 39% his junior year. Duke’s shot release is a bit slow but nothing that cannot be improved upon.
Playmaking is also a strength of Duke’s, who is always looking to make the right pass. In transition, he has shown he can find teammates while also finishing with contact. However, he did average 3.2 turnovers per game his junior year. Being careless with the ball can be a red flag but can certainly be improved upon. He also shoots a solid 80% from the free-throw line, which is always something to look at when examining a player, especially with shooting potential. He has shown that he can shoot off the dribble and off the catch while displaying a solid step back. Duke is known for being a grinder. He’s already gotten compliments from the Nets coaching staff during Summer League about his impressive work ethic and attitude.
Fit with the Nets
While it would be an uphill battle for Duke to make the Nets’ final roster, it is certainly not impossible. He would provide solid reserve scoring on the Nets bench behind Kyrie Irving, Patty Mills, and Cam Thomas. The Nets love acquiring as many scorers as possible, as scoring is the most important aspect of today’s game. Duke can score as we’ve seen in college and could definitely bring that to the Nets. If Duke does not make the roster initially that doesn’t mean we won’t see him with a Nets uniform again. The Nets are known for developing young talent as they did with Spencer Dinwiddie who spent time in the G-League. It may take time for Duke to develop to become an NBA-caliber player. But either way, he has all the tools to become one and make an impact on a team.