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Projected first-round pick Mark Williams declares for NBA draft

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Duke Blue Devils sophomore Mark Williams on Monday announced that he will declare for the 2022 NBA draft, forgoing his remaining collegiate eligibility.

Williams was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year after averaging 11.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.8 blocks. He was also a finalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year, and ranked fifth in the country in total blocked shots (110).

The 7-foot-1 center boasts a 7-foot-5 wingspan and has the skills every team covets on defense between his ability to control the paint and rebound. He is widely projected to be a lottery pick and should be able to help fortify teams’ frontcourts at the next level.

Williams, who turned 20 in December, will have the opportunity to improve his draft positioning by participating in private workouts with teams. He also figures to be a strong candidate to earn an invitation to compete in the draft combine or NBA G League Elite Camp next month.

The NBA draft will take place on June 23.

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