Could Duarte be ideal 3-and-D fit for Warriors at No. 14?


The Warriors are counting down the days until Klay Thompson is able to return to the court. The caveat is, they don't know what specific date they're counting down to.

So until Thompson is ready to come back -- and even after he does -- the Warriors will need more shooting on the wing. 

An option for this is someone who molds their game after Thompson: Oregon's Chris Duarte. 

And watching him play, you can see the resemblance. 

He shot 42.4 percent from beyond the arc on over five attempts per game during his senior season with the Ducks. Duarte isn't known as a shot creator, but he continuously moves around the court to get open looks off screens, handoffs or just finds himself open. And when his shot isn't falling from a distance, Duarte has shown the ability to drive and finish at the rim. Those are some traits that certainly are reminiscent of Thompson, especially at the start of his NBA career.

Duarte's defense also garners the Thompson comparisons. With a 6-foot-6 frame and 6-foot-7 wingspan, Duarte can guard multiple positions. He averaged 4.6 rebounds last season, making him a decent rebounder for a shooting guard, and he also created a decent amount of deflections and steals as he attacked passing lanes off the ball on his way to become a Pac-12 All-Defensive Team selection.

Duarte's weak point is his passing and facilitating. He isn't a selfish player, but lacks the floor vision to be a reliable secondary facilitator. He would be a reach at No. 7, but could make sense at No. 14.


What is considered to be the other downside to Duarte doesn't have anything to do with what he does on the court, and is completely out of his control -- his age. At 24 years old, Duarte is one of the oldest members of the draft class, which has been used as a knock to him. But for the Warriors, it might make him even more intriguing. 

With James Wiseman still needing a lot of work, the Warriors cannot afford to go in on another big development project. They need players who can make an impact now. Duarte's age might help that better than others. He should have greater maturity, and perhaps a better understanding of how to fit the role the Warriors would need him to fill. 

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Duarte most likely doesn't have Thompson's NBA ceiling, but he's shown to possess some of the best parts of Thompson's game that should allow him to have a successful career. And as Thompson works his way back from injury -- and even when he returns -- the Warriors could use more of what Duarte does. 

Chris Duarte profile

Position: Shooting guard 

Class: Senior

Birthdate: June 14, 1997

Hometown: Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

2020-21 season averages: 17.1 points (53.2 percent FG, 42.4 percent 3-point, 81.0 percent FT), 4.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.9 steals.

Height: 6-foot-6

Weight: 190

Wingspan: 6-foot-7

NBA comps: Klay Thompson (NBA Draft Room), Danny Green (The Ringer)

What they’re saying: "Duarte is read-made. He knows when to shoot, he knows when to pass. He's big enough, strong enough to play to the two. He shoots it at the percentage to shoot it at in the NBA to play the two. He's the best defensive guard in American, period. He's a problem. He's a big problem. He's a big problem on both ends of the floor." --  UCLA Bruins coach Mick Cronin, to reporters before the Pac-12 Tournament.