Ryan Kelly added to Duke’s NBA Draft Day success when he was taken with the No. 48 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. Kelly was taken 26 spots after fellow senior captain Mason Plumlee, who was taken with the No. 22 pick by the Brooklyn Nets.
Kelly’s final season with the Blue Devils doubled as his shortest as the 6-foot-11 forward appeared in just 23 games. Duke looked like the best team in the country until Kelly went down with a foot injury early in the ACC season and without Kelly, Duke lost a bit of their momentum.
However, Kelly’s return against Miami at Cameron Indoor Stadium also doubled as the most memorable game of his stay in Durham. Kelly buried 10-of-14 field goals, including 7-of-9 from three-point range to score a game-high 36 points as Duke won an instant classic, 79-76.
Kelly finished his career with 946 points and a career 37.9 percent shooter from three. Kelly posted per game averages of 12.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks as a senior and will go down as one of the favorite players for fans of the program.
Kelly joins a team in transition in the Lakers, however. The team is currently embroiled in the latest Dwight Howard saga as the team decides what direction it wants to take itself going forward.
Either way, I’m sure Kelly will become an instant locker room favorite of Kobe Bryant — the Black Mamba and the White Raven. Sounds like a match made in NBA heaven.