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Duke in the NBA: Free agency update

The NBA Draft has come and gone and Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly have new teams, which means it's free agency season. There are a litany of former Blue Devils on the market this season, looking to cash-in on a lucrative contract, or just to stay in the league a little longer.

Two Duke products wasted no time finding new homes this offseason, agreeing to new contracts before the NBA's moratorium period on free agency was lifted. Mike Dunleavy Jr., who played the previous two seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks, has agreed to a reported two-year, $6 million contract with the Chicago Bulls, where he will join fellow former Blue Devils Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer, the latter of whom was his teammate in 2001 when Duke won the national championship. Dunleavy was heavily sought after in his short time as a free agent, drawing interest from as many as five teams before verbally committing to the Bulls.

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The other Duke alumnus with a new address is JJ Redick. Redick was perceived as one of the topguards on the free agent market after a breakout season with the Orlando Magic and Milwaukee Bucks last season. After sitting down with the Los Angeles Clippers, Redick agreed to a contract that will reportedly pay him $27 million over four years. To facilitate his move to Los Angeles, Redick was signed and traded by the Bucks in a three-team deal that sent prized Clippers point guard Eric Bledsoe to the Phoenix. Redick took to Twitter to display his excitement with his new home.

Redick, playing for former Boston Celtic coach Doc Rivers, may be destined for a Ray Allen-like role with his new club.

Aside from the two newly-signed Blue Devils, there is significant interest in other Duke products as well. A pair of Charlotte Bobcat free agents, Gerald Henderson and Josh McRoberts, are reportedly both targets to be resigned. Even though there's interest from the Bobcats, McRoberts isn't expected to give Charlotte a hometown discount to return.

Henderson, unlike McRoberts, is a restricted free agent, which means that the Bobcats have the option match any offer made to Henderson. If the Bobcats want the shooting guard badly enough, they have the option of keeping him.

The last Blue Devil who has drawn significant interest in the early days of free agency is Elton Brand. After averaging 7.2 points and 6.0 rebounds per game with the Dallas Mavericks, there is mutual interest between Brand and both the Mavericks and the New York Knicks. Dallas offers Brand stability, but the Knicks represent something of a homecoming for the forward from Cortland, New York. With interest from the Mavericks, Knicks and others, Brand is in no rush to make a decision about his future.

Nolan Smith, who's contract option wasn't picked up by the Portland Trailblazers, hasn't agreed to a new contract yet, but will be with the Boston Celtics for summer league play. With the Celtics in clear rebuilding mode, a young player like Smith could be a good fit for Boston. In desperate need of backcourt help, Smith hasn't been ruled out as an option in Portland quite yet.

There are some Blue Devils who haven't drawn interest on the free agent market just yet. Dahntay Jones, Chris Duhon and Corey Maggette haven't been popular among teams yet, but could become prime options once the top tier of players have agreed to new contracts.


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