Chris Duarte Rumors
For the inquiries about his age ― and, by extension, the negative connotations that accompany being the oldest first-round prospect of his class ― Chris Duarte has an emphatic answer. “I’m 24 years old and my response is, if you want to win right now, go ahead and take me,” Duarte said Tuesday. “If you want to win six or eight years later, go ahead and draft an 18-year-old kid and develop him.”
“We’ll see what happens,” said Duarte, a native of the Dominican Republic who was a basketball late-bloomer. “My goal is to play in the NBA and stay there for a long time. So we’ll what happens. I like the Knicks. I like Golden State. So we’ll see what happens.”
The Knicks, said multiple sources, have been trying to package their picks (19th, 21st and 32nd) to move up in the draft. It might be necessary if they target Duarte, whose draft range starts at the end of the lottery. According to Hoopshype, New York reached out to the Warriors about their 14th pick and the Pelicans about their 10th pick.
The Knicks tried to package the No. 19 and 21 picks to move up in the draft and called the Pelicans about moving up to the 10th pick before New Orleans and Memphis agreed to a trade, leaguesources said. The Knicks also called the Warriors hoping to package the No. 19 and 21 picks to move up to the 14th pick but found no traction. There’s a growing buzz around the league that the potential target for the Knicks is Oregon guard Chris Duarte, who won the Jerry West Award as the nation’s top shooting guard.
Chris Duarte is thought to be the guy the Lakers want to fall. I’ve heard some sources discuss that they’ve looked into moving up the board. But it might be tough to do that given their current asset cache. I referenced in the last mock draft that Mann is a player the Lakers are thought to be high on, and it’s easy to see why. They need some shot creation and pull-up shooting ability next to guys like LeBron James and Anthony Davis. They could especially use it off the bench. Mann makes sense as a strong candidate to fill that need, as he’s the best pull-up shooter in the class and has terrific change of pace and direction handle. He needs to really improve on defense, and he could stand to improve as a passer. But if he’s here, the Lakers will give him a long look.