Indiana Pacers Draft Oregon’s Chris Duarte In First Round Of NBA Draft

BROOKLYN — Chris Duarte became the first lottery pick of the Dana Altman era on Thursday when the 2021 Jerry West Award winner was taken 13th overall by the Indiana Pacers in the 2021 NBA Draft.

Duarte is Oregon’s highest draft pick since Luke Jackson went No. 10 overall in 2004, and the eighth-highest selection in program history.

Named the top shooting guard in the nation, Duarte was stellar for the Ducks as a senior in 2020-21. He averaged 17.1 points per game while shooting a sizzling 53.2 percent from the floor and 42.4 percent from three-point range. Duarte was the Associated Press Pac-12 player of the year as well as a first-team all-Pac-12 and Pac-12 all-defensive selection.

A dynamic shooter and versatile playmaker, Duarte was one of only two players in Division I to average 17.0 points and 1.9 steals per game while shooting at least 50.0 percent from the floor. The Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, native was especially good down the stretch of the regular season, earning Pac-12 player of the week honors after averaging 18.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game to help Oregon go 3-0 and clinch its second consecutive Pac-12 regular-season title.

Duarte led the Ducks to the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen in March, getting a feel for his future home while playing two games in the Pacers’ home arena – Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Duarte scored 23 points on 9-of-12 shooting in Oregon’s second-round win over Iowa, and followed with 21 points in the Sweet Sixteen vs. USC.

NBA Draft Notes

  • At No. 13 overall, Duarte is Oregon’s first NBA lottery pick under Dana Altman and the program’s highest selection since Luke Jackson went No. 10 overall to Cleveland in 2004.
  • Duarte is Oregon’s third first-round pick in the last four years – joining Troy Brown Jr. (Washington, 2018) and Payton Pritchard (Boston, 2020) – and 14th in program history.
  • Duarte is the ninth NBA Draft pick during coach Dana Altman’s tenure at Oregon and the 54th all-time pick in UO history.
  • Duarte is the seventh Duck selected in the last five NBA Drafts.
  • 2021 marks five consecutive drafts that Oregon has had at least one player drafted; the last time that happened was 1984-88.
  • Duarte is the first Duck taken by the Indiana Pacers since Joseph Young in 2015.

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All-time Oregon NBA First Round Draft Picks (14)

2021 – Chris Duarte, Indiana, No. 13

2020 – Payton Pritchard, Boston, No. 26

2018 – Troy Brown Jr., Washington, No. 15

2007 – Aaron Brooks, Houston, No. 26

2004 – Luke Jackson, Cleveland, No. 10

2003 – Luke Ridnour, Seattle, No. 14

2002 – Fred Jones, Indiana, No. 14

1991 – Terrell Brandon, Cleveland, No. 11

1985 – Blair Rasmussen, Denver, No. 15

1977 – Greg Ballard, Washington, No. 4

1976 – Ron Lee, Phoenix, No. 10

1971 – Stan Love, Baltimore, No. 9

1966 – Jim Barnett, Boston, No. 8

1955 – Jim Loscutoff, Boston, No. 4