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Wendell Carter On Leaving Duke Early

It seemed inevitable but Carter wasn’t so sure.

Dallas Mavericks v Chicago Bulls
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MARCH 02: Wendell Carter Jr. #34 of the Chicago Bulls passes under pressure from Maxi Kleber #42 of the Dallas Mavericks at the United Center on March 02, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. 
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

After the 1999 season, when it was pretty clear that Elton Brand, William Avery and Corey Maggette were likely to leave early for the NBA, a first for Duke, some fans at the post-season banquet cried out for them to stay.

Didn't work obviously.

There were also accounts at the time that Mike Krzyzewski was unhappy about the whole idea of leaving early.

That spring, he went on local radio and said that in his opinion, no one should leave unless they were assured of being a high draft pick because otherwise it was too risky.

Things have changed a lot since then.

Coach K came to terms with early departures and began to recruit elite talent knowing those players would leave after one year.

One of them was Wendell Carter.

When his time came, he was uncertain about leaving. Coach K told him that he thought it was the right thing to do. He was going to be taken early and his game would translate well into the NBA.

He was right - Carter was an early surprise with the Chicago Bulls.

Still, he wasn’t sure that he was making the right decision. He talks about it here, about Coach K’s input and why how he made his decision was important.