Chris Duarte made history tonight, as the Indiana Pacers selected the senior guard from Oregon. The Dominican Republic native is the first player under Head Coach Dana Altman to be drafted in the NBA Lottery.
Duarte shown as one of the leaders of the 2020-21 Ducks, averaging 17.1 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game while shooting a scorching 42.4% from three. Duarte’s skills make him an ideal 3&D player who can fit well with most teams.
Duarte spoke with the media after being selected by Indiana and stated that he felt great about his fit with the Pacers, who hosted him for a workout on July 21st.
“I went to Indiana and I had a great, great workout there. I met with the front office and we really connected well...When I left Indiana, I left with a lot of confidence.”
Duarte’s arrival in Indiana could mean that the Pacers view him as an ideal replacement for sharpshooter Doug McDermott, who is a free agent coming off a career year scoring 13.2 points per game on 53.2% shooting. Duarte’s maturity combined with his skill set can allow him to produce right away and make a great impact for the Pacers, who will look to make it to the playoffs after being eliminated in the NBA’s Play-In Tournament at the end of the regular season.
Congratulations Chris, we’re so happy for you and we’ll always be rooting for you!