Are Duke's Big 3 Bound For The NBA?

Curtis ClontzCorrespondent IIFebruary 22, 2010

DURHAM, NC - JANUARY 17:  Fans of the Duke Blue Devils cheer on Kyle Singler #12 as he makes a free throw during the game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on January 17, 2010 in Durham, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

March is quickly approaching and the Duke faithful are getting more and more excited with every Brian Zoubek rebound.  This team may be poised to make a real run in the NCAA tourney, they are also poised to lose the bulk of their team in the off-season.

If you look at the number of seniors on this team, you will note that they will be losing Lance Thomas, Jon Scheyer, and Brian Zoubek.  If you look at the rest of the roster, they may be losing two more..

The Devils may be in real trouble of losing their best four players and every real contributor of this season.

First off, this team does not have a John Wall like player on their roster.  They have no one playing at a NBA lottery pick level, but that doesn't mean the following two aren't gone...


Nolan Smith:

If you think he is a sure shot to stay at Duke then you may be sadly mistaken.  This guard is having the best year of his short career and will be tempted by the NBA scouts.  While he is not a first round draft pick, don't forget about last season.  He was poised to be the starter at the beginning of the season, only to be benched for a hungry Elliot Williams.  If he has any resentment, his decision to leave could be much easier than many think.

On the season Nolan is Duke's third leading scorer and is second in assists.  Good enough to generate at least some speculation that he is indeed considering an early move to the league.  If that is not enough, don't forget about that minor NCAA violation.  The NBA is in the back of his mind, and he very well could be jumping ship.


Kyle Singler:

The one player on the Duke roster that is the closest thing to a real NBA product is Kyle Singler.  He is the most well rounded and arguably best Dukie on this team.  He is the second leading scorer (and closing fast). 

He is such a strong player, Duke has now revamped their offense to specifically get him the ball, and try to get him more shots.

Singler can shoot, pass, and he hustles.  He is starting to peak at the ideal time and after a strong finish the NBA will be calling.  At the beginning of this season it was almost certain that Kyle would bounce to the league, but after a slow start questions started to arise.

If I was a betting man, I would say that Kyle Singler is gone.  No, he won't be a lottery pick, but he is without a doubt a first rounder.

He can be compared to a bulkier Mike Dunleavy who has done well in the NBA.

If both Smith and Singler leave, then Duke will be in a situation similar to this year's UNC team.  They will have lost all of their premier players and have a string of youth to overtake the problem.  Luckily Duke has more talent coming in, and a for sure scorer in Curry.

It is unknown whether Smith or Singler will leave.  If they do return Duke will have a top 3 team and be considered to be one of the best teams in the nation!  Arguably the best Duke team since 2004.