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Nets sign David Duke Jr. to two-way contract, complete 17-man roster

Milwaukee Bucks v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The Nets have agreed to sign David Duke Jr. to the team’s vacant two-way contract, sources tell NetsDaily. The combo guard is “likely” to play a “majority” of the 2021-22 season with the Nets G League affiliate, the Long Island Nets, a source added.

The signing became official last Saturday afternoon.

The signing completes the Nets expanded roster, giving them 15 NBA standard deals and two two-ways. Kessler Edwards, the 44th pick in the Draft, is the other two-way. The Nets will carry four rookies on their 17-man roster: Duke and Edwards on two-ways, Cam Thomas and Day’Ron Sharpe on standard NBA deals.

Duke tweeted out his excitement and promised to deliver more...

Duke Jr., 22, signed an Exhibit-10 deal after going undrafted in the 2021 NBA Draft. He was one of the standout surprises at Summer League in Las Vegas, showcasing his hustle and defense — averaged 7.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 23.0 minutes per game (four starts).

After that, Duke Jr. participated in the five-day training camp in San Diego with the team, then preseason. Steve Nash praised Duke Jr’s play out in San Diego and his performance in the preseason win against the Lakers — a game Duke Jr. finished with 13 points, seven rebounds, three steals and two assists in a game-high 31 minutes.

He has already gained fans among veteran teammates...

The 6’5” swingman played a total of 50 minutes across three preseason games. He did not play in the preseason finale victory Thursday — for Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Nets v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

The competition for the final two-way contract spot came down to Duke Jr. and Devontae Cacok, who will play for the Nets G League affiliate this season.

Long Island acquired the G League rights to Cacok — a 6’8”, 240-pound forward/center — from the South Bay Lakers, the Lakers G league affiliate, Friday afternoon. The 25-year-old, who won a championship with the Lakers in the ‘bubble’ in 2020, is no stranger to the G League. He played in a total of 33 games (two starts) with South Bay, earning All-NBA G League First Team and NBA G League All-Rookie Team honors.

Cacok was officially waived late Saturday afternoon. He can sign with another NBA team if he is offered a deal but if he remains in the G League, he will play for Long Island.

According to Draft guru Chad Ford, Duke Jr. had been penciled in as a first-rounder by several teams after a strong first half of his junior season at Providence, mainly due to his 3-and-D potential, but fell off in the second half of the season and went undrafted. The Nets had him as a second-rounder in their internal mock. Before the Draft had concluded, Brooklyn had called Duke Jr. to let him know of their interest.