As the 2021 NBA Draft began to shake out, the Indiana Pacers held steady at the 13th pick, selecting Chris Duarte out of Oregon. The Dominican Republic born guard averaged 17.1 points per game on 42.4% shooting from three point range last season from the Ducks, helping them to the Sweet Sixteen. Beyond his shooting, he’s a solid perimeter defender, earning All-Defensive Team honors in the Pac-12.
Duarte, at 24, is the oldest first round pick since 2002, which dampens the ceiling for Indiana’s first lottery pick since 2015. His age does factor into Indiana’s plan for the draft, which was to draft a player who can contribute right away. NBA Draft Junkies broke down Duarte, highlighting his versatility in scoring the basketball.
While it appears the Pacers took the safe route with their first round pick, they did move up to 31st overall in an earlier trade with the Milwaukee Bucks, trading away their 54th and 60th overall pick tonight along with future seconds.
Sources: Indiana is sending No. 54, No. 60 and two future seconds to Milwaukee for No. 31.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 30, 2021