The 7-foot center played one season in Minneapolis after being acquired in a five-player trade with New York. Dukes played an important role in helping the Lakers earn the Western Division title, averaging more than 10 points and 11 rebounds per game in limited playing time.
Despite posting the best numbers of his young career, the former All-American at Seton Hall was traded to Detroit in September 1957 for Larry Foust. Dukes went on to play six more seasons in the NBA, earning a couple of All-Star game selections along the way. He died at age 70 in 2001.