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Duke’s Wendell Moore Jr. declares for NBA draft

Duke’s Wendell Moore Jr., the Julius Erving Award winner as college basketball’s best small forward, declared for the NBA draft on Thursday.

The 6-foot-5 junior produced career-high averages of 13.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.4 steals per game in the 2021-22 season, helping the Blue Devils reach the Final Four.

Moore posted on Instagram, “What an incredible journey this has been! Long before I stepped on campus in the summer of 2018, I knew that Duke was home. This program, this school, my teammates, coaches, and you the fans, have meant so much to me and my family. Together, we have produced memories and experiences that will last forever.”

ESPN slots Moore at the #35 pick in its latest mock draft, early in the second round, while 247 Sports puts him in the late first round or early second round.

Now retired Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement, “I could not be more proud of the player and person that Wendell has become. He is everything that is good about our game of college basketball. To see him grow and improve over these last three years has been special and I’m so happy for Wendell and his family to have this moment.

“He was our co-captain, one of the best all-around players in the nation and a huge part of our success. He was there for us every minute. He led us in assists, led us in minutes, was one of our best shooters and was there in clutch moments. He will be an immediate asset to an NBA team.”

Two Duke big men, Mark Williams and Paolo Banchero, declared for the draft earlier this week.

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