Pro Ducks: Payton Pritchard and Bol Bol shining brightest out of former Ducks in the NBA

Jan 8, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Payton Pritchard (11) guards Tyrese Haliburton (0)
Jan 8, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Payton Pritchard (11) guards Tyrese Haliburton (0) / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Ducks currently have just seven active players in the NBA. Who are the stars? Who are the bench warmers? Who are the surprises?

One of the young hoopers in the league who played at Oregon is Payton Pritchard. He was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 2020 and has remained on their 15-man roster since.

Pritchard had a phenomenal rookie season in Boston. He saw the court in 66 games and even started in four of them. The Duck averaged 7.7 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.8 assists in his first year.

His second season in the league provided similar results for Pritchard. While is scoring and rebounding numbers dipped slightly, his assists increased; highlighting his assets as a point guard and a team-first player.

Now in his fourth NBA season, Pritchard has played in all of the Celtics’ 36 games. His rebound and assist averages are at a career-high, 3.3 RPG and 3.0 APG. At the same time, his shooting is above his professional average at 7.5 PPG.

Up next, Bol Bol, the youngest Duck in the NBA pond. 

Son of legend Manute Bol, Bol only stuck around in Eugene for his freshman year which was cut short due to a foot injury. He was drafted by the Denver Nuggest in 2019 and was with the team through 2022.

In his five-year tenure, Bol has had an up-and-down career. Appearing in only 134 games over this span, he has averaged only 6.1 points per game and 3.6 rebounds per game – not ideal stats from a 7’3” center.

Bol is currently playing for the Phoenix Suns and has seen playing time in 11 games so far this season. Practicing alongside Kevin Durant has only helped Bol figure out his style of play.

One of the more tenured players in the league to come out of Oregon is Dillon Brooks. He has played in 373 career games, mainly for the Memphis Grizzlies who picked him up in 2017.

Brooks has recently made a name for himself as an overly physical – some going so far as to call him an unlikeable Canadian (who knew there was such a thing).

For his six years with the Grizzlies, Brooks appeared in 345 games. In the 2021-22 season, he even earned 18.4 points a game for the team. However, in 2023 Brooks was traded to Houston, the team that initially drafted him, where he has struggled more than usual.

Appearing in only 28 games for the Rockets, Brooks was averaging 13.6 PPG, 1.7 APG, and 3.5 RPG. In late December, he strained his right oblique while playing against the Indiana Pacers and has been sidelined since.

Troy Brown Jr. has bounced around the NBA since getting drafted by the Wizards in 2018. He was traded to Bulls during the 2020-21 season and then was traded to the Lakers in 2022.

Brown currently plays for the Timberwolves and has started in three games. His production levels are well below that of the average power forward in the league as Brown is contributing an average of 0.9 APG and 4.5 PPG.

Chris Boucher is the eldest Duck in the league. Another canadian player coming from Oregon, Boucher has built up quite a fan base with the Raptors, his team since 2018.

He was traded to Toronto from the Golden State Warriors who signed him in 2017 after he went undrafted. Averaging 8.8 PPG and 5.3 APG, the forward is no slouch.

This season, Boucher is averaging 6.4 PPG and 4.1 RPG with the Raptors.

Eugene Omoruyi is currently on a two-way contract with the Washington Wizards and the Capital City Go-Go of the NBA G League. 

In his four years in the league, Omoruyi has been on four different teams.

Year one, he was with the Mavericks. Year two, he was with the Thunder. Year three, he was with the Pistons. Now, in year four, he’s with the Wizards. 

Coming out of the 2021 draft, he was touted as being one of the most underrated rookies in the NBA. However, he has struggled to find a consistent shooting rhythm and hasn’t produced much defensively.

The seventh Duck currently in the NBA is Chris Duarte. He was drafted by the Pacers in 2021 and spent his first two seasons in Indiana.

He averaged 10.5 PPG in those two years but the Pacers had a roster filled with guards and wings, and only so much time to distribute. Duarte was traded to Sacramento where he’s currently averaging 4 points, 0.9 assists and 1.8 rebounds per game.

Only the future will tell which Ducks get called up to the league, who will continue to see playing time, and who will fade into the background. As of right now, these seven aren’t a bad bunch to brag about.

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