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Warriors Rumors: Chris Duarte Was Targeted in Last-Minute Trade Talks at NBA Draft

Adam WellsJuly 31, 2021

A.J. Mast/NBAE via Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors used their second first-round pick in the 2021 NBA draft to select Moses Moody, but they reportedly had their eyes on another player. 

Per Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area, the Warriors were planning to use the No. 14 overall pick to select Chris Duarte before the Indiana Pacers grabbed the 2020-21 Pac-12 Player of the Year. 

Poole noted the Warriors had discussions with other teams as late as Thursday night about possibly moving up to ensure they would have a chance to select Duarte, but nothing materialized. 

Duarte's stock was peaking at the right time leading up to the draft Thursday night. 

B/R's Jonathan Wasserman had the Oregon star ranked as the No. 20 overall prospect, noting some NBA scouts and executives saw him "as a lock to add shooting and other forms of shot-making, while his defensive tools and toughness bode well for his chances of competing right away."

Duarte was one of the oldest prospects in this year's class at 24 years old. He began his college career at Northwest Florida State College, where he played for two years before transferring to Oregon prior to the 2019-20 season. 

The Dominican star won several major awards last season, including the Jerry West Award as the nation's top shooting guard, and was named to the All-American third team. 

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Indiana will be hoping that Duarte's all-around ability can help the franchise get back to the playoffs after losing to the Washington Wizards in the play-in tournament. He shot 53.2 percent from the field and 42.4 percent from three with the Ducks in 2020-21. 

Even though the Warriors missed out on one of their top targets, they were able to land intriguing talents like Jonathan Kuminga (No. 7) and Moody in the first round to play alongside Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.   

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