Posted byUnder Pressure
Chris DuarteJoe Robbins/NCAA Photos via Getty Images. Averaged 17.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists on 53.2% fg, 42.4% 3, 81.0 ft. Chris is one of my favorite players in the whole draft; this is because he is a very NBA ready player who’s floor is incredibly high. Every year we see an older prospect slide in the draft due to a lack of long term upside and then prove everyone wrong by making an immediate impact on the game, many NBA teams will likely make the same mistake this year. In a league that values 3 and D prospects so much I just do not understand why guys like him and Desmond Bane go so late every year. Speaking on that 3 and D ability, he is a top tier shooter in this class. His form is very smooth and how consistent it is makes him very dependable as a shooter. He is one of the most fluid shooters in the class who uses great footwork to get into rhythm with ease. He has a great feel and nuance for how to get open mixed with his elite shooting it makes him one of the best off ball players in the whole class. He is just always moving which forces the defense to scramble, getting him or his teammates open looks. Off of screens he was an elite shooter as well and I will always value of someone who you can run a variety of players for. I loved what he was able to do in transition as well where he was able to stop on a dime with ease and get into his shot. What I love most about his shooting is that he is versatile as a shooter, while just being a catch and shoot guy has plenty of value being someone who can hit shots off the dribble raises your ceiling immensely. The ability he has as a pull up shooter is something that few prototypical shooters have. He continued to show his high level confidence and fluidity with the ball in his hands. As a PnR player I think he has great upside because in his limited amount of possessions out of the PnR he showed that he only needs a second of daylight which causes the defense to have to switch, leading to mismatches. While outside shooting will always be his biggest standout trait, he also showed a great ability to mix it up in the mid range. The threat he has as an outside shooter allows him to use simple but effective fakes after an aggressive closeout to get to his spots. While most of his off the dribble shots were just pullups, the signs of him hitting tough stepbacks or fadeaways from the elbows excite me a ton. These very tough shots give me hope that his shotmaking can continue to level up. His finishing is an area of his game that is very underrated. While his burst is amazing, his ability to change speeds quickly and use moves like hesitations allowed him to still get by defenders well. He showed off a very impressive leaping ability as he had multiple plays of rising up to land powerful dunks or use his incredible hangtime to readjust and finish around defenders. He is just so fearless going downhill, contact just does not faze him at all. Defense is yet another strong suit of his and this is mainly due to his IQ. The rotations he makes are so crisp, with him always being in the right place at the right time. His timing on help defense was fantastic, as his weak side rotations lead to many impactful contests or blocks that were huge to his team. Whenever there was a mismatch he would always rotate at the perfect time to stop an easy bucket. As a defensive playmaker he is matched by few, his timing for steals and blocks were just unmatchable. When he was one pass away his ability to catch ball handlers by surprise was great, as so many times he would come out of nowhere to get an easy steal and then a transition bucket. He also is excellent in the passing lanes where he showed off great anticipation and closing speed to intercept passes. The ability he has to read eyes is just so special as the great defense generates him easy offense so well. The blocks he was able to make were very eye popping as well. He showed fantastic effort to get back in transition and yet again showed off great timing/leaping. As a whole he is a player who I cannot see falling, even with concerns about long term upside.