In the latest edition of 'P.I. Pulse,' Pro Insight's Aneesh Namburi conducts a deep dive analysis on Oregon's projected first-round pick, Chris Duarte:
From the Dominican Republic to Montreal, to going to JuCo in Florida, Chris Duarte has had a roller coaster of a journey before achieving the success he’s had at Oregon. Playing second fiddle to Payton Pritchard last season, Duarte improved exponentially during his senior season, and was rewarded with the PAC-12 Player of the Year award before a hot tournament run with the Ducks boosted his stock to what’s likely first round status. While his age will be the most obvious concern (will turn 24 before his rookie year), Duarte is a perfect 2-way role player in the modern NBA who also showed some juice with the ball. Below is an in-depth scouting report that covers every aspect of his game and how it translates to the NBA, where his strengths lie in addition to potential areas of improvement.
Date of Birth 6/13/1997
Weight 190 lbs.
Wingspan 6' 7"+
Missed 3 games with a broken finger in 2019-20, missed 2 games with an ankle injury 2020-21.
High: Starting glue wing. Plus-shooter both spotting up and off the bounce w/ basic movement skills. Utilizes offensive spacing+finds open spots via cutting and relocation. Primarily attacks closeouts w/ the ability to hit teammates as cutters and shooters. Plus-finisher due to improved pace/pop. Can run PnR’s in occasional advantage looks due to positive finishing + more consistent reads as a playmaker. Transition threat due to open court speed. Active playmaker with good instincts, uses his stride length and burst to cover ground. Fits well in a switching scheme due to strength improvements and already present laterally mobility and hip flexibility. Primarily defends shot making wings, but might struggle against big wings due to lack of length.
Median: Rotational 3&D wing. Solid shooter on spot-ups and off the bounce. Utilizes offensive spacing+finds open spots via cutting and relocation. Attacks closeouts w/ the ability to hit teammates as cutters and shooters and finish, but a win for D running him off the line. Transition threat due to open court speed. Active playmaker with good instincts, uses stride length and burst to cover ground. Unable to defend guard creators or big wings 1-4 due to sub-optimal length and lateral speed, but covers all other positions.
Low: Depth 3&D wing. Spot-up shooter. Lack of burst limits PnR ability, PUJ regresses to median. Utilizes offensive spacing+finds open spots via cutting and relocation. Has trouble attacking closeouts due to lack of pace or pop. Active playmaker with good instincts, uses his stride length to cover ground. Wing defender due to slight frame, lack of lateral quickness limits him against small guards.
Almost 24 years old, Duarte has had time to fill out his body, and it showed at the college level. Duarte has prototypical size for a wing, specifically in the upper body with a broad chest and shoulders. While he doesn’t have a great wingspan, Duarte’s mobility, quickness, and strength help make up for this, specifically defending opposing wings. Duarte showed himself to be an excellent athlete (specifically in transition), with substantive vertical pop and a speedy top gear. His hips are extremely flexible, and in tandem with his quick feet, they allow him to change direction quickly while in a stance. Duarte could stand to improve his change of speed. With the ball in his hands, Duarte doesn’t really use his top gear speed in the half-court. While partially a byproduct of his handle, understanding the nuances of pace could improve his separation ability on offense. Additionally, he’s not top heavy, but it looks like his upper body is more developed than his lower half. Especially at the NBA level where Duarte will spend some amounts of time on big wings and bigs, being able to hold his ground will be imperative.
Good height for a wing but less than ideal wingspan (+1)
Quick vertical pop (skill accentuated with timing and instincts) despite being primarily a two-foot jumper, has shown ability to adjust and leap off one foot effectively
High-level transition athlete with leaping ability and open court speed
Good directional burst but not functionally utilized offensively (not sure it translates to the NBA); doesn’t play with different paces on ball
Hips possess great flexibility, could stand to get a bit lower to generate power
Gets down the court quick north/south, fluid while moving laterally
Excellent frame; solid upper body w/ broad shoulders+chest; positive core strength; legs might need to get a bit stronger to improve explosion/stability but not a glaring issue
Duarte’s skillset offensively will be based around his shooting. A decent shooter in his first year at Oregon (34% on 5 attempts per game), he somehow took a massive jump while in a bigger role and quietly turned into one of the best shooters in college basketball this past season. While it is rather delusional to suggest that there will not be some level of reversion, Duarte should be a difference-making shooter at the next level both on and off the ball. His positive shooting numbers and hip flexibility also give promise to at least basic movement capabilities down the road despite a lack of sample due to scheme. Duarte’s threat off the catch will force defenses to close out hard on him, making his abilities off closeouts important. He’s more of a passer than a finisher out of his attacks, and although he’s more of a ball mover than dependable playmaker, he has consistently found open teammates while playing with the Ducks. The swing skill offensively will be his ability to finish at a requisite level where NBA defenses don’t sell out against his shot. Duarte is also an extremely smart cutter who uses his defender’s body weight to shake them and get open layups or dunks. He won’t be looked upon to work with the ball much during his early years in the NBA, but like Jake Rosen mentioned here, basketball isn’t divided into such black and white terms of singularly on-ball and off-ball players, and this is where some concerns creep up. In the pick-and-roll, Duarte will always be able to rely on his pull-up jumper, but he currently lacks the pace variability, burst, handle, or playmaking manipulation to get regular paint touches at the NBA level. He has showcased decent poise with the ball even when heavily pressured, but teams will be able to negate most of his pick-and-rolls if the aforementioned skills stagnate due to a lack of possibility creating advantages in multiple contexts.
Half court: 44.2% of 2’s assisted, 55.8% of 3’s assisted