Oregon basketball fans may be tuning into the NBA draft on Thursday night to see what the Portland Trail Blazers do in terms of potential trades or moves to improve the roster, but most will be paying close attention to what happens with Chris Duarte.
The senior was a JUCO transfer before the 2019-20 season and he didn’t disappoint, molding into the best shooting guard in the country.
Duarte had a huge senior season with the Ducks, leading them to another regular-season Pac-12 title and averaging 17.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.9 steals. He shot 53 percent from the floor and 42 percent from 3-point range while playing great defense.
Teams are going to jump at the opportunity to snag him in the middle of the first round until around the 25th pick. He’ll be a name to watch on Thursday night.
But where could he end up?
Three best possible landing spots for Duarte
Some believe that Duarte is a lottery talent and I tend to agree, but most mock drafts have him going in the 14-25 range and these are the teams that I think could benefit him the most.
- Golden State Warriors (No. 14): This would be a dream scenario for Duarte because not only could he learn from guys like Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, but he could be part of their next NBA title push. He fits well as a plus shooter and bigger guard who can defend. He would be a welcome addition in Oakland.
- Atlanta Hawks (No. 20): How fun would this be? A combo of Trae Young, John Collins, De’Andre Hunter, Clint Capela, Cam Reddish, and Duarte making up a young core for an NBA title contender for the next decade would be insane. Duarte could complement Young in the backcourt and be one of those clutch players that the Hawks could have used against the Bucks.
- Los Angeles Lakers (No. 22): You really can’t go wrong here, playing with Anthony Davis and LeBron James and learning from two of the best players in the NBA. Plus the Lakers could use some backcourt help from a young guy who can shoot, defend, and has plus athleticism for his position. Duarte instantly helps the Lakers here.
Where do you think Duarte could end up or where would you like to see him land?