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Duke in the NBA: Four former Blue Devils on the move at the NBA trade deadline

<p>Wendell Carter Jr. finds himself looking for a renewal on a new team. The third-year center is just waiting to breakout.</p>

Wendell Carter Jr. finds himself looking for a renewal on a new team. The third-year center is just waiting to breakout.

The final hours of this year’s NBA trade deadline were jam-packed with action, and several former Blue Devils now find themselves on new teams.

Wendell Carter Jr., C, traded to the Orlando Magic 

Former Blue Devil Wendell Carter Jr., kicked off all the action for this year's March 25th trade deadline. The Chicago Bulls dished the 6-foot-10 center to the Orlando Magic in a deal that resulted in Nikola Vucevic going to the Bulls. Carter has performed in a similar manner to his first two seasons in the association, averaging 10.9 points and 7.8 rebounds while bouncing in and out of the lineup due to both injury and coaching decisions. Considering the Magic included their former starting center in its deal with Chicago, expect to see Carter inserted into the starting lineup in Orlando. 

Gary Trent Jr., G, Rodney Hood, G, traded to the Toronto Raptors 

The Portland Trail Blazers no longer have the services of Gary Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood. In a deal with the Toronto Raptors, Portland traded Trent and Hood in exchange for Norman Powell. The former had seen his role largely diminish since guard C.J. McCollum returned from injury, although his production during McCollum’s absence still has him on pace to set a new career-high of 15.0 points per game in his third-year. 

Hood has seen far less minutes than his counterpart, and the month of March has been particularly cruel to his box score. The seven-year veteran has not touched double-digit points since February 4th and is hovering at a 36.3% field goal percentage on the season. With the Raptors sitting at 11th place in the Eastern Conference standings, head coach Nick Nurse will have some personnel decisions to make as the team heads into the final stretch. 

Austin Rivers, G, traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder

Austin Rivers has bounced around his fair share of locker rooms throughout his career, and this year’s trade deadline gave him one more to add to his list. After going from the Washington Wizards to the New York Knicks just before the start of the 2020-21 season, the Oklahoma City Thunder acquired Rivers from New York Thursday. The guard has had a tumultuous 2020-21 campaign, as he saw his minutes steadily decline until they nearly vanished upon the Knicks’ acquisition of Derrick Rose. 

Rivers has not seen game action since Feb. 13, primarily due to taking personal time for the birth of his child, and it is unclear when he plans to return. 

JJ Redick, G, traded to the Dallas Mavericks

The New Orleans Pelicans dealt JJ Redick to the Dallas Mavericks in the waning hours before the trade deadline. The 15-year veteran now finds himself on his sixth NBA team, and will likely continue to serve a similar role off of the bench as he did with the Pelicans. At this point, it is unclear when Redick will actually join the Mavericks, with his heel injury keeping him out of gameplay since March 3. The former Blue Devil is averaging 8.7 points per game on a 36.4% clip from 3-point range, with each number being well below what he typically posts. Dallas finds itself with a narrow hold on seventh place in the Western Conference, and although Redick’s numbers may be down, the Mavericks will undoubtedly get a boost from his sharpshooting upon his return.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article stated that the Portland Trail Blazers no longer had any Duke players on their roster, and did not include JJ Redick’s trade to the Dallas Mavericks. The Chronicle regrets the error.

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