The Indiana Pacers drafted Chris Duarte out of the University of Oregon with the 13th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.
Durarte is not the age of a typical lottery draft pick these days.
He's 24 years old.
He's already older than players like Jayson Tatum, Trae Young and Luka Doncic (All-Stars that have been in the NBA for several seasons).
Therefore, it's not a shock that he fell to the 13th overall pick when his talent is easily top-ten.
Last season at Oregon he averaged 17.1 points per game and shot over 42% from the three-point range, while also being active on the defensive end (1.7 steals per game).
The Golden State Warriors had the seventh and 14th overall picks in the first round, and they drafted Jonathan Kuminga (seventh overall) and Moses Moody (14th overall).
I believe that the Warriors should have found a way to either trade the seventh overall pick to acquire a pick several slots back and other assets, or moved the 14th overall pick and added sweeteners to move up past the Pacers.
J. Michael (who worked for the IndyStar) reported that the Warriors did in fact pursue him from the Pacers after the draft.
His article from July can be read here, and his Tweet can be seen embedded below.
Clearly they were interested.
Now, my opinion is not directly correlated to however Kuminga or Moody turn out.
They could easily turn out to be great players.
I just believe that the Warriors shouldn't have ended the night without acquiring Duarte regardless of what other potential players they could have drafted.
Why do I feel so strongly?
Duarte is going to be a big player for the Pacers, and he would have fit the Warriors so perfectly.
Duarte has yet to play a real NBA game, but even in NBA Summer League he was able to show the kind of player he can be on offense and defense.
The rookie averaged 18.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.5 steals, 1.8 blocks and shot 48.3% from the three-point range.
Remember, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green were not top-five picks or one and done in college.
Curry played three seasons at Davidson, and the Warriors drafted him seventh overall.
Thompson played three seasons at Washington State and the Warriors drafted him 11th overall.
Green played four seasons at Michigan State and the Warriors drafted him 35th overall.
You get the point.
Duarte's incredible shooting ability would be perfect next to Curry and Thompson, and he also fits the resume of a player the Warriors could have major success with.
Curry, Thomson and Green will all be Hall of Famers and are three-time NBA Champions.
Opinion: The Warriors should have grabbed Duarte over any other rookie they could have gotten in their position.