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Wendell Carter Jr. declares for NBA draft

Southern v Duke

DURHAM, NC - NOVEMBER 17: Wendell Carter Jr. #34 of the Duke Blue Devils dunks against the Southern University Jaguars during their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on November 17, 2017 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

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After a week’s worth of headlines that there was some family tension of whether or not he should enter the NBA draft, Duke freshman Wendell Carter Jr. announced that he is heading to the NBA.

The 6-foot-10, 260 pound Carter averaged 13.5 points, 9.1 points, 2.1 blocks and 2.0 assists this past season, really coming into his own in the second half of the season when Duke went zone and Marvin Bagley III went down with a knee issue.

Carter is projected as a top 10 pick in the 2018 NBA draft. There are some concerns about his ability as a defender -- he can defend the rim, but his issues moving his feet on the perimeter and his struggles picking up ball-screens coverages were a major part of the reason that Duke was eviscerated on that end of the floor so often early in the year -- but he can really pass and his ability to shoot will help spread the floor.

“I want to thank Duke University, my coaches and teammates for helping me so much, not only on the court, but off it as well,” said Carter. “We’re all brothers, we all have each other’s’ backs. I’m really going to miss being around my friends, but I’m really going to cherish the moments we had together. I’m very excited and very happy to say I was part of something special here at Duke.”

“It was such an honor to coach Wendell,” said head coach Mike Krzyzewski. “He and his family were a true joy to have in our program and they’ll always be in our program. He had a sensational freshman year – a double-double guy – and he has so much more potential. He’s going to keep getting better, because he’s talented and he has the best attitude. He really represented himself, his family and Duke in a first-class manner, and whoever gets him is going to be very lucky.”