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Tre Jones declares for the NBA draft

North Carolina v Duke

DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA - MARCH 07: Tre Jones #3 of the Duke Blue Devils takes a three-point shot against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the second half of their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on March 07, 2020 in Durham, North Carolina. Duke won 89-76. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

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Duke point guard Tre Jones will declare for the NBA draft.

The ACC’s 2020 Player of the Year told ESPN on Saturday that he will be putting his name in the draft. He’s projected as a late-first round to early-second round pick in the most recent NBC Sports mock draft.

As a sophomore, Jones, the younger brother of Memphis Grizzlies point guard Tyus Jones, averaged 16.2 points, 6.4 assists, 4.2 boards and 1.8 steals. Most importantly, he shot 36 percent from three. The biggest question mark for Jones as a pro is and always has been his ability to shoot from the perimeter. A sensational on-ball defender wit all of the leadership qualities that you look for in a lead guard, Jones is a capable creator that has the personality that should allow him to fit well within an NBA locker rom and accept a role as a backup point guard early in his professional career.

2020 NBA DRAFT: Top 40 prospects

But as a freshman, teams just did not guard Jones on the perimeter. They dared him to shoot. With Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett on the floor, it made more sense to put extra bodies in the lane and let a guy who didn’t have the confidence or the ability to make open threes take open threes.

That wasn’t the case for Jones as a sophomore. That doesn’t mean that he will end up being Steph Curry or have the range of a guy like Damian Lillard, but he won’t need to shoot it like that to carve out a lengthy career as an NBA backup.

He just needs to be able to keep defenses honest.

And if he can find a way to shoot 35 percent from three in the NBA, that’s exactly what he’ll do.