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Five ACC Basketball Players Drafted, 12 Sign Next-Level Deals Post College Careers



NBA Draft. Dereck Lively II and Nike Sibande as Pitt faces Duke in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals in Greensboro, N.C. on March 9, 2023. (Mitchell Northam / Pittsburgh Sports Now)

The ‘down season’ for the ACC was somewhat made known in the 2023 NBA Draft, but numerous players who did not receive a selection signed undrafted free agent contracts. 

Duke was the only ACC program with a player picked in the first round. Jon Scheyer’s team developed not one but two first-round picks as the rest of the conference experienced better fortune in the second.

7-foot-1 center Dereck Lively II was selected with the 12th pick by the Oklahoma City Thunder. He was traded to the Dallas Mavericks as the Mavs moved down from the 10th selection and sent the rights to Carson Wallace to OKC. Lively II averaged 5.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks in over 20 minutes per game for the Blue Devils. He shot 65.8% from the floor during his lone season at Duke as a freshman. 

Fellow freshman Dariq Whitehead will be joining the Brooklyn Nets. The 2022 Naismith Prep Player of the Year won the McDonald’s All-American Game MVP before embarking on the Duke program for one campaign. Whitehead battled a foot injury that required two separate surgeries that potentially hampered his output as a Blue Devil. The No. 2 overall prospect by ESPN entering college averaged 8.3 points per game and shot nearly 43% behind the three-point arc in 28 games. 

Three ACC players were drafted in the second round, including two Miami stars who helped guide the program to its first Final Four. 

The Thunder selected Clemson forward Hunter Tyson with the 27th pick and traded him to the defending champion Denver Nuggets. The 6-foot-8 senior shot 46% from the field and averaged 10.0 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 25.6 minutes for the Tigers. His efforts earned him All-ACC First Team honors.

Dynamic duo Jordan Miller and Isaiah Wong were both picked in the back half of the second round. Miller went 48th overall to the Los Angeles Clippers after two years as a Hurricane. The former George Mason guard averaged nearly 33 minutes per game through two seasons for Miami and totaled 15.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 2.7 assists en route to being named Second-Team All ACC. The ACC Player of the Year, Wong averaged a team-high 16.3 points and was named an AP Honorable Mention selection.

The Miami Heat proved this spring that undrafted doesn’t mean unqualified and unable to become key contributors in an NBA rotation. 

Notre Dame sent three undrafted players to the next level, including forward Nate Laszewski joining the Indiana Pacers for the summer. Forward Trey Wertz signed overseas with Skopje in Macedonia.

Two ACC players agreed to terms with the Sacramento Kings to play this summer. Former Notre Dame wing Dane Goodwin and Virginia Tech forward Justyn Mutts are joining the up-and-coming Kings. Hokies forward Grant Basile signed in Italy with Derthona.

Vanderbilt forward Liam Robbins signed an Exhibit-10 contract. The deal is a one-year, NBA minimum contract that can become a two-way agreement before the start of the regular season.

Virginia vet point guard Kihei Clark will join the Utah Jazz for the 2023 Summer League. Fellow guard Armaan Franklin agreed with the Nuggets on an Exhibit-10 deal. 

24-year-old Georgia Tech forward Ja’Von Franklin signed a Summer League contract with the Eastern Conference Champion Miami Heat. 

NC State guard Terquavion Smith may see an extended look with the Philadelphia 76ers. The former Wolfpack guard signed a two-way contract with the Deleware Blue Coats in the NBA G League. Guard Jarkel Joiner is joining the Atlanta Hawks through an Exhibit-10 contract.

North Carolina fifth-year guard Leaky Black is staying home in Carolina and agreed to a two-way deal with the Charlotte Hornets. The Concord native was UNC’s best defender for most of his career, including the 2022 NCAA runner-up campaign. 

The NBA Summer League begins Friday, July 7.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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