There is still much debate regarding who the Warriors are going to select with the No. 7 overall pick in next week’s NBA Draft, but there’s a growing consensus about who they have their eye on later in the first round.
Two new mock drafts on Wednesday — one by The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie and the other by Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman — both had the Warriors selecting Chris Duarte, a 6-foot-6 wing out of Oregon who was spectacular in the most recent NCAA tournament. Duarte is a unique prospect primarily because of his age, already 24 years old thanks in part to spending two years playing in junior college and having to repeat a year of high school after moving to the United States from the Dominican Republic
Duarte was not considered a first-round prospect at the beginning of last season, but played his way up draft boards thanks to his skills on both ends of the court and his ability as a playmaker. In addition to being named to the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team, Duarte averaged 17.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.9 steals and 0.8 steals per game last season, while shooting 53.2 percent overall, 42.4 percent from deep and 81 percent from the free throw line. In his three tournament games, he scored 23, 32 and 21 points respectively.
Most importantly for the Warriors, Duarte is considered by most evaluators to be a player who could enter an NBA rotation immediately, something Golden State is prioritizing with an aging championship core already in place.
As far as pick No. 7 is concerned, Vecenie has the Warriors taking the much buzzed about James Bouknight, a 6-foot-5 wing from Connecticut, while Wasserman thinks Bouknight will be selected by the Thunder at No. 6, and that the Warriors will instead take Moses Moody, another (you guessed it) wing out of Arkansas.