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Duke in the NBA: Trent shines with the Raptors, Williamson out with thumb injury

Trent Jr. has been a seamless fit in his new home.
Trent Jr. has been a seamless fit in his new home.

Now with the dust settled from the March 25 trade deadline, let’s take a look at former Blue Devils—several on new teams—making a splash in the NBA.

Gary Trent Jr. rewrites Raptors record books

After the recent acquisition of former Blue Devils Rodney Hood and Gary Trent Jr., the Toronto Raptors initially struggled and lost their next four games. The tide seemed to turn Friday, however, as Trent Jr. put together a masterful performance in the Raptors’ temporary home in Tampa Bay. En route to a 53-point victory over Golden State, Trent Jr. scored 24 points, shooting 8-of-14 from the field and draining six threes in the process. His plus-54 net rating is confirmed to be the greatest for a single game in franchise history.

Williamson sustains thumb injury

Pelicans forward Zion Williamson sprained his thumb Monday in a 115-109 win against the Boston Celtics. With 28 points, Williamson extended his streak of 20-plus point games to 10 while also notching a solid eight rebounds. For a somewhat position-less player who seemed to struggle a bit on the defensive end early in the year, fans were delighted to see the young star swipe four steals in the contest. 

New Orleans projects the injury to be a short-term one, and Williamson should return to the court within the next few games.

Redick shades Pelicans front office

Former Pelicans, now Mavericks, guard JJ Redick criticized the handling of his departure from New Orleans on his podcast, “The Old Man and the Three.” Redick felt that he had a good-faith agreement made when he signed that he would have the final say in any trade away from the team, but expressed disappointment in both the Pelicans inability to trade him to Brooklyn, his desired destination, and their lack of willingness to simply buyout his $13 million contract. 

The 36-year-old former Duke standout still has a ways to go before returning from a heel injury, but he offered some perspective on the situation: "I don't think you're going to get honesty from that front office, just objectively speaking.... It's not something where I would expect certainly the agents that worked on this with me to ever trust that front office again." 

New Orleans’ front office is headed by Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin and General Manager and former Duke guard Trajan Langdon.

Elsewhere in the basketball world, the USA Basketball Board of Directors approved former Blue Devil Grant Hill as the next managing director of the Men’s National Team. Get the full story here.

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