Chris Duarte was dubbed the best collegiate shooting guard in the country in 2020-21 in his second season with Oregon basketball and he still doesn’t get the respect he deserves.
In fact, he may have won the top shooting guard award, but not enough NBA mock drafts are projecting him to go early in the 2021 selection process. Most mocks have him as a mid-to-late first-rounder which isn’t too shabby, but very rarely is he given respect as a lottery pick.
That might slowly be changing.
According to the latest CBS Sports mock draft by Colin Ward-Henninger, Duarte is projected to go No. 14 overall to the Golden State Warriors.
For those of you keeping track at home, yes, that’s considered a lottery pick despite the new play-in process which the Warriors were part of. They technically didn’t make the 16-team official playoff field after losing the play-in to the Grizzlies and they’ve locked up the No. 14 pick.
Warriors would be perfect fit for the Oregon basketball star
Ward-Henninger gave Duarte some high praise in his description of Duarte on the projected 14th pick, stating that he’s reminiscent of the old Klay Thompson with his shooting ability and defensive potential.
A 24-year-old Klay? What Warriors fan or coach would say ‘no thanks’?
Duarte is a great shooter and has a solid frame for the two-guard spot. He is a top-end defender and has no problem being “the guy” on offense. Two-way players will have a home in the league forever and Duarte would probably be an instant contributor for an organization like the Warriors who are looking to build that dynasty back up.
I’m a huge fan of Duarte’s game and he’d excel while learning from Klay, Steph Curry, and Draymond Green and joining a young core with James Wiseman and Jordan Poole.