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Cassius Stanley drafted 54th overall by Indiana Pacers in NBA Draft

Stanley has the size and athleticism to be a great NBA guard.
Stanley has the size and athleticism to be a great NBA guard.

Three Blue Devils entered the 2020 NBA Draft, and all three will leave as Duke's newest draftees. 

The Indiana Pacers selected Stanley with the 54th overall pick of Wednesday night's NBA Draft. Stanley entered the night as a projected second-round pick, though many mock drafts had him up near the early parts of the second round. He's the Blue Devils' 100th all-time draft selection.

The 6-foot-6 guard is debatably the most athletic player in the draft, though he’ll need to clean up some facets of his game. Indiana will look to bring Stanley off the bench as a rookie, or potentially consider significant time with the Pacers' G-League affiliate as they hopefully develop him into a significant NBA role player.

Stanley arrived on campus in Durham with a bang, breaking Zion Williamson’s program vertical leap record during the preseason . His entrance would serve as a foreshadowing of things to come, as the high-flying guard quickly became a fan favorite, exhilarating Cameron Indoor Stadium with his incredible dunking ability. As the Blue Devils’ third-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder, Stanley solidified his role as a starter early in the season, starting all of the 29 games in which he appeared. 

Coming into the 2019-20 season, most expected Stanley to be a multi-year player at Duke, but after much deliberation and speculation from fans, the 21-year-old made the decision to forgo his remaining eligibility and enter the 2020 NBA Draft. Stanley will be sorely missed heading into this coming season. Though he wasn’t quite the offensive force or team leader fellow 2020 draftees Vernon Carey Jr. and Tre Jones were, Stanley always had a knack for getting his teammates in the spirit of the game and sending the crowd wild. 

Stanley's game suited college well, but considerable development will need to take place in order to get him to an NBA level. He’s a solid scorer, but not excellent yet. His passing has room for work as well—he only recorded one assist in 27 minutes per game last season. He knocked down 36 percent of his threes in college, but Indiana will want to see how this translates to a league with a slightly longer 3-point line and fewer open shots.


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