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2020 NBA Draft: Duke wing Cassius Stanley, a potential first-round pick, declares for draft

2020 NBA Draft: Duke wing Cassius Stanley, a potential first-round pick, declares for draft

Stanley is an athletic freak who could be a 3-and-D steal for a team in the late first or early second round

Duke wing Cassius Stanley became the second Blue Devils player this offseason to enter the 2020 NBA Draft, announcing on Tuesday his intentions to leave college after just one season in Durham.

"The past several weeks have given me a lot of time to think," he said. "Although the ending to our season was disappointing, I feel blessed to have worn the Duke jersey … As much as I feel a burning desire to make another run at the Final Four, I feel compelled to make the best decision for my professional success. In evaluating players, the NBA values youth. Therefore, I have decided to enter the 2020 NBA Draft."

Stanley, a 6-foot-6 wing, played in 29 games for Duke, averaging 12.6 points, 4.9 boards and shooting 36.0% from 3-point range. He joins Duke guard Tre Jones among offseason NBA defections, with Vernon Carey and Matthew Hurt potentially in line to follow their lead.

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Stanley joined Duke last year as a sub-30 national recruit but emerged as a legitimate first-round NBA prospect by flashing otherworldly athleticism and 3-and-D upside. He is eligible to return to college and can test the NBA Draft waters, but intends to forfeit his remaining collegiate eligibility.

While Stanley had a few blow-up games — 24 points and 11 boards against Louisville, 22 points and six boards against UNC — he projects as a top-end role player at the next level if his 3-point shooting continues on an upward trajectory. He can defend well on the perimeter and plays with an always-hot motor on both ends of the floor, at Duke injecting energy into the game regularly.

Stanley is in line to be Duke's fourth one-and-done player in the last year, joining Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and Cameron Reddish.

Losing Stanley is a blow for Duke, but unsurprisingly, the Blue Devils are reloading again this offseason. They've already locked in the No. 2 recruiting class in the country and plan to welcome in five-star wing Jalen Johnson, the 11th-ranked prospect in the Class of 2020.

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