Chris Duarte is a senior guard from the Oregon Ducks who entered for this year’s NBA Draft. He was a junior college transfer from Northwest Florida State, where he spent his first two college seasons. Duarte’s name has gone under the radar and there hasn’t been a lot of hype surrounding him. However, this a player more basketball fans should get to know before the NBA Draft rolls around.
Chris Duarte 2021 NBA Draft Profile
The Dominican guard won the NJCAA Player of the Year Award during his sophomore season with Northwest Florida State. Duarte averaged 19 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists per game. He then transferred to the Oregon Ducks in his junior year. During his junior season, he played a secondary role with Oregon and averaged 12.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. However, he wasn’t very efficient shooting the ball that year as he only shot 41.4 percent from the field.
During his senior season, Duarte took his play up to another level. He averaged 17.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.9 steals per game while shooting the ball very efficiently. Duarte led Oregon to the Sweet 16 and took home a slew of individual awards in 2021. He was named to All-Pac 12 First Team, Pac-12 All-Defensive-Team, and the winner of the Jerry West Award.
Duarte’s biggest calling card is his shooting. He’s a knock-down shooter who can score from all three levels. Duarte is great at both shooting off-the-dribble and the great catch-and-shoot game. During his senior season with Oregon, Duarte shot an efficient 53.2 percent from the field, 42.4 percent from three, and 81 percent from the free-throw line.
Shooting is a very transferable skill in the NBA and Duarte has an excellent jump shot. He can space the floor well because of shooting, but the underrated aspect of his floor spacing is that he’s a good slasher. You can never have enough shooting in today’s NBA.
Another major strength in Duarte’s game is his defense. He’s a good on-ball defender and is great at causing deflections and turnovers. In his college career, Duarte has had three seasons where he averaged nearly two steals per game.
Some other great things about Duarte’s game is that he rebounds well for his size. Standing at 6-foot-6, he can consistently grab five or six rebounds per game Furthermore, another great quality about Duarte is that he often makes the right play doesn’t force things.
Duarte is NBA-ready with his current skill set and can contribute right away for teams who are in dire need of bench scoring should he see playing time.
There aren’t too many weaknesses in his game but the most glaring weakness for Duarte is his lack of explosiveness and burst. Duarte doesn’t have an elite first step so there are times where quicker players will beat him to the spot when he attacks the hoop. The same principle goes on the defensive end as well as there will be times where he can’t contain quicker guards despite being a good on-ball defender.
Another thing to note is that Duarte has been overlooked as a prospect because of his age as he will be 24 when the time the 2021 NBA Draft rolls around. Teams will likely pass up on him early in the draft.
Duarte’s game has a lot of similarities to current NBA player Derrick White. Both are great knock-down shooters whether it’s off-the-dribble or catch-and-shoot. They both aren’t the fastest or the most explosive guard. Furthermore, both players are good on-ball defenders at the guard position. Neither player are flashy by any means, but they get things done on the court effectively.
NBA Draft Projection
Later First-Round Pick to Early Second-Round Pick.
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