David Duke Jr., who the Nets brought on after going undrafted in 2021, will likely sign his second two-way contract with Brooklyn, per league sources. Duke had been a restricted free agent after playing as a two-way last season.
NetsDaily was first with news. The Nets have wanted Duke to accept a second year as a two-way player, but he wanted a standard deal. Ultimately, he agreed to stay with the Nets. He would be paid $502,000 as a two-way, about a million dollars less than if he had signed a standard deal. The agreement with Duke can always be converted — at any time — to a standard deal later, as Kessler Edwards was at the end of last season.
Duke’s signing would bring to 15 the number of players on the Brooklyn roster, giving them 12 fully guaranteed deals, a partially guarantee, two two-way contracts in him and Alondes Williams. There are three exhibit 10 contracts and two standard NBA deal left to fill unless of course the Nets do a trade.
NBA teams can bring up to 20 players to camp at the end of September. Before the Duke signing, the Nets had the most openings on the 20-man roster, tied with Charlotte at six.
Last season, the 6’4” Duke averaged 4.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists, with shooting splits of 36/24/81 in 22 games, seven of them starts for Brooklyn, He was one of the stars of the Nets Summer League team, averaging 19.0 points — 10th in the Summer League, 4.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists with shooting splits of 50/26/83. While his 3-point shooting still needs an upgrade, Duke impressed Nets coaches with his aggressiveness in getting to the rim.
A three-year starter at Providence, Duke declared for the 2021 NBA Draft. While some saw him in early in the 2020-21 season as a potential first round pick, his value fell off in the second half of the Big East season.
Duke has been featured in some of the Nets social media this summer along with other young Nets.
Duke would be the fourth free agent from last season’s squad to re-sign, joining Kessler Edwards, Nic Claxton and Patty Mills. The Nets also signed three other free agents — Sumner, T.J. Warren and Alondes Williams — and traded for Royce O’Neale.
The Nets currently have two free agents from last year’s team unsigned: Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge. The Nets still have a $6.5 million taxpayers MLE and a $2.5 million trade exception to play with.