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Redick, Williams embark on pro careers

Even though Duke bowed out in the Sweet 16 this past season, Cameron Indoor Stadium's rafters will become a little more crowded next season.

Head coach Mike Krzyzewski has recommended that J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams both have their jerseys retired during ceremonies next season, a senior Athletics Department official confirmed to The Chronicle.

The recommendation still must be approved by the Athletic Council and President Richard Brodhead. Pending the approval, which is expected, the jerseys will be retired during separate ceremonies next season, the source said.

Redick's "4" and Williams' "23" will become Duke's 12th and 13th retired jerseys, and the first and second ones since Jason Williams was honored Feb. 5, 2003.

Jason Williams was the first player in recent history to have his jersey retired after his time at Duke had ended, a change Krzyzewski said would take pressure off players during their college careers.

"It's a little better when they come back and do it," Krzyzewski said.

Meanwhile, Duke's two most-recent All-Americans began their professional careers after being drafted in the NBA lottery June 28 at Madison Square Garden. Both players agreed to two-year contracts with their respective teams, although the terms were not disclosed.

The Magic, not wanting to take any chances with their investment, asked Redick to rest the pesky back injury that some thought could spell trouble for Redick before the NBA Draft. The No. 11 pick did not play on Orlando's summer league team and is not participating in the trials for the U.S. Senior National Team.

"I feel I could be out there, but we had to decide if it was worth the risk and not take the chance," Redick said.

The Magic have reportedly stopped negotiating with free agent shooting guard DeShawn Stevenson, so if healthy, Redick should be in the mix for the starting spot next season.

Williams played for Atlanta's summer league team but struggled at first. In his first two games for Atlanta at the Rocky Mountain Revue, Williams racked up 10 fouls while scoring only 14 points.

On draft night, Hawks general manager Billy Knight said he expects the fifth overall pick to contribute to the team right away.

"We think he'll pick things up quickly," Knight said. "The transition from the NCAA to the NBA should be easier for him. He's more mature physically."

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