Duke star Luke Kennard declares for NBA draft

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When will Duke’s best player get drafted?

Jayson Tatum, an intriguing freshman, will be the first Duke player selected. But Duke’s best player this season? That was Luke Kennard, and we’ll learn how the NBA views the difference.

Duke release:

Duke sophomore Luke Kennard will enter the upcoming NBA Draft. He will sign with an agent and forgo his remaining college eligibility.

The shooting guard has a fairly wide draft range – from the middle of the first round to early second round. Athletic testing will determine when a team is ready to bank on his offensive skills.

Kennard looks like a swell outside shooter, making 44% of his 3-pointers last year. But shooting just 32% on 3-pointers as a freshmen weights down his career average (38%) and causes a little concern. At least his free-throw percentage, a good indicator of shooting ability, was strong both years (89%, 86%).

In addition to shooting better, Kennard developed more of a complete game this season. He used his improved ball-handling and court vision at 6-foot-5 to create for himself and teammates.

As well as he played in college, he didn’t silence the questions about his translatability to the next level: Is he fast enough? Is he long enough? Can he defend?