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
"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.