With the NBA Draft today, Chris Duarte could find himself as a hot commodity. Expected to go somewhere in the middle of the first round, Chris is set to cash in on a superb senior season at Oregon that should leave him with no shortage of suitors. After leading the team to a Pac-12 Conference title and Sweet 16 appearance, Duarte’s skill set figures to mesh well with any team willing to take a chance on the 24 year old from the Dominican Republic.
Chris Duarte is lethal from behind the arc, shooting 42.4% in his final go-round with the Ducks. While he is capable of creating his own shot and can aggressively attack the basket, Duarte’s biggest impact on the offensive end will definitely come from his knack for knocking down triples, a skill that has continued to have incredible value in the NBA. He is also a willing passer who can set up teammates and be trusted to make smart decisions.
Defensively, Duarte is a turnover-forcing machine who has a great feel for jumping passes and turning them into fast break opportunities. We were able to witness Duarte swinging the momentum in games by creating a turnover and helping convert it into easy points for the Ducks. While he isn’t particularly quick laterally, Duarte is a capable on-ball defender who doesn’t take plays off on the less glamorous end of the court.
One of the best things about Chris is his all-around solid game. He doesn’t have many weaknesses so to speak, other than the fact that many would label him as a good but not great athlete and that he is one of the older players in the draft, so he would be closer to the ceiling of his game rather than the floor. However, his maturity and more-finished game gives him the chance to make an impact sooner than some of the more raw prospects coming into the NBA.
As stated earlier, Duarte projects to be taken somewhere in the mid to late first round, and would be a good fit with teams like the Lakers, Spurs, or Pelicans. He would make a lot of sense with New Orleans or Los Angeles specifically, as they are teams that don’t have a lot of cap space and have a need for three point shooting.
No matter where he goes, Chris Duarte has the chance to make an impact at the NBA level, and we as Duck fans will continue to support him anywhere he goes.