The New York Knicks secured the 19th and 21st pick in the draft this year. They are looking to add more depth to their backcourt, and one prospect they are looking to acquire is the Oregon Ducks', Chris Duarte.
According to Ian Begley of SNY TV, the New York Knicks held a solo workout for Duarte on Friday as the team's coaches and evaluators watched him closely. Here's what the full report said:
"New York on Friday had Chris Duarte in for a workout and what's notable here is Duarte was solo for this workout.... That's significant because the Knicks given as recently as earlier this week had prospects in for group workouts... The idea that the Knicks wanted to see Duarte alone on Friday tells you a little bit about their level of interest in the Oregon guard. Duarter is widely projected to be taken ahead of where the Knicks currently sit at 19 and 21 in the first-round. But some agents with players projected to be taken in the lottery said the Knicks have potentially talked about moving up in this draft using trade assets. They expect the Knicks to continue to explore those avenues."
Chris Duarte averaged 17.1 points on 53.2% field goal shooting, including 42.4% from beyond the arc on 5.5 attempts per game last season for the Oregon Ducks in the NCAA Division 1 basketball tournament.
NBA Trade Rumors: How can Chris Duarte help the New York Knicks
Chris Duarte is a knockdown shooter and, at 24, is one of the older prospects in the 2021 NBA Draft. He can instantly feature in the New York Knicks rotation and can help them improve with their three-point shooting. He shot 42.4% from the three-point line last season on 5.5 attempts, which is a remarkable statistic to consider.
As per multiple scouting reports, Duarte is also a decent defender and has a great sense of awareness in the passing lanes as an off-ball defender. He also creates a ton of steals and deflections due to that. Duarte is also a respectable rebounder for someone who plays in the two. He averaged 4.6 rebounds per game last season.
These qualities suit the New York Knicks' needs for next season, which makes Duarte an enticing prospect for them to consider in the upcoming draft.
However, as Begley mentioned, he is projected to be picked way before the New York Knicks' current position in the draft, which is one of the major reasons they could look to use trade assets to move up and secure Duarte's services.