Oregon Ducks guard Chris Duarte is becoming a hot name at the NBA draft.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, Duarte "received an invite to the draft Green Room at Barclays Center and his stock is rising in eyes of teams. Golden State and New York are among the teams eyeing Duarte, who has a second workout with the Warriors on Sunday, sources said."
Charania also reported that the Knicks were trying to package the Nos. 19 and 21 in a deal to move up the draft. Perhaps such a move would be made with selecting Duarte in mind.
The Warriors, meanwhile, currently hold the Nos. 7 and 14 picks.
The 24-year-old Duarte would make a lot of sense for teams with postseason aspirations like the Knicks and Warriors. He was excellent for Oregon in the 2020-21 season, averaging 17.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.9 steals per game, shooting 53.2 percent from the field and 42.4 percent from three.
Everything Golden State does this offseason will revolve around giving Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green the best chance at a championship.
ESPN's Jonathan Givony projected Duarte to go off the board at No. 14 to the Dubs, writing that "adding a ready-made contributor like Duarte who can make shots, play off the ball and be competent defensively likely makes the most sense. He is one of the oldest players projected to be drafted and looks like a plug-and-play fit thanks to his strong perimeter shooting, passing and defensive playmaking instincts."
Those same skills make his fit just as natural in New York, which should be prioritizing playmaking from the point guard position and two-way wings who can stretch the floor at this year's draft.
Ian Begley @IanBegley
Chris Duarte’s Knicks workout today is solo, per SNY sources. NYK has worked out other prospects in group settings. So Duarte’s solo workout indicates NYK’s level of interest in him. Duarte’s projected to be drafted before NYK’s picks (19 & 21). <a href="https://twitter.com/AdamZagoria?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AdamZagoria</a> 1st reported workout.
The Knicks are building around Julius Randle and RJ Barrett, trying to improve a roster that made a surprise run to the postseason last season. They'll also likely try to find a way to land another star, either through free agency or a trade. A player like Duarte, ready to fit in as a role player, would be a logical target via the draft.
So Duarte has suitors, no doubt. The Warriors and Knicks may not be alone in coveting his services.