There are questions whether the Indiana Pacers will trade their pick in the upcoming NBA draft. The Pacers have the #13 overall selection in what is considered a weak draft.
One name that keeps coming up is 6-6 shooting guard Chris Duarte from Oregon.
Durate, who has worked out for Charlotte (11th pick) and Washington (15th), and is expected to be in Indy soon. Kory Kispert from Gonzaga is another possibility. He could be a replacement for Doug McDermott who is an unrestricted free agent and isn’t expected to return to Indiana.
Other names that have surfaced are Davion Mitchell from Baylor, Keon Johnson from Tennessee, Franz Wagner from Michigan and Cam Thomas from LSU.
(NBA DRAFT PROFILES)
About Chris Duarte
• Chris Duarte is an athletic, talented perimeter scorer who ranked among the most efficient offensive players in college basketball as a senior at Oregon. A consensus top-200 prospect in the high school class of 2017 out of Redemption Christian Academy (NY), Duarte spent his first two seasons at the Junior College level at Northwest Florida State where he was named NJCAA Player of the Year in 2019. Emerging as an x—factor for Head Coach Dana Altman’s Ducks, he averaged 12.9 points per game two years ago as a junior—his first year at the Division I level. As well as he played for stretches that year, the 23-year-old showed major growth as a senior averaging 17.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game to lead the Ducks to the Sweet Sixteen.
• Possessing solid size for a guard listed at 6’6 with a lean 190-pound frame, Duarte is a very good athlete with a toughness to his game.
• Spending time playing on and off the ball in a featured role for the Ducks, Duarte showed intriguing versatility as a perimeter shot-maker. Creating his own shot effectively out of ball screens and one-on-one, proving very reliable spacing the floor, and taking the ball strong to the rim as a finisher, Duarte showed significant growth as a scorer last season and did a better job making decisions with the ball than he did as an underclassman.
• An active defender with good instincts in the passing lanes and decent lateral quickness, Duarte emerged as a playmaker for an Oregon team that played a mixture of man and zone defense. He was a second late closing out in spots, but made an effort to get in a stance and move his feet on the perimeter.
• A terrific all-around shot-maker, Duarte did much of his damage off the dribble last season making shots at a strong rate out of ball screens and isolations, but also knocked down catch and shoot jumpers spotting up and running off screens with great consistency. Picking and choosing his spots well, his maturity was apparent last season.
• Shooting the ball at an exceptionally high level last season overall, Duarte averaged a stellar 39 points per catch and shoot jump shot in the half court [95th percentile] on somewhat limited attempts and an equally impressive 1.12 points per dribble jump shot in the half court [94th percentile]. Showing the ability to stop and pop with range, step back into deep jumpers, and even take what defenders gave him in the midrange, Duarte ranked among the most efficient jump shooters in college basketball least season despite how many of his attempts came off the dribble or on the move.
• Using the threat of his jumper to attack the rim with long strides and solid footwork, Duarte scored 28 points per finishing opportunity in the half court [75th percentile] as he was very opportunistic as a slasher. Finishing emphatically with a head of steam, and doing a better job finding the open man when cut off inside, Duarte’s maturation as a decision-maker played a role in his efficiency as well.
• Coming up with a lot of steals this season, Duarte was aggressive in the passing lanes. He did a better job coming up with deflections than he did effecting shooters when closing out, but played with a solid activity level overall.
• Possessing nice length and quickness for a guard, Duarte allowed 81 points per Isolation possession [39th percentile] doing a pretty good job containing the ball despite giving up quickness in some matchups.
About Corey Kispert
• Corey Kispert is a mature swingman with a reliable shooting stroke who improved steadily over his four year career at Gonzaga which culminated with one of the most efficient individual offensive seasons in college basketball history and a National Championship appearance. Widely regarded as a top-100 prospect in the high school class of 2017 following his senior season at King’s High School (WA), Kispert emerged as a contributor for the Bulldogs as a true freshman. Averaging 8 points and 4.1 rebounds per game as a sophomore in his first season as a full-time starter under Head Coach Mark Few, he solidified as a valuable two-way contributor alongside Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke. Making massive strides over his last two seasons in Spokane, Kispert averaged 18.6 points, 5 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game while shooting 44% from beyond the arc as a senior to earn WCC Player of the Year and Consensus All-American 1st Team honors.
• Listed at 6’7 with a solid 223-pound frame and average length, Kispert is a capable athlete who can catch lobs pretty impressively but is more strong than quick defensively.
• Establishing himself as one of the best shooters and most polished all-around players in college basketball last season, Kispert filled a prominent role for a talented Bulldogs team. Showing a tremendous feel for relocating off the ball, sprinting to the arc in transition, and running off screens, Kispert did much of his damage in catch and shoot situations, but also showed the ability to finish strong inside, put the ball on the floor a bit looking to create, drain pull-ups, and keep opposing defenses in rotation. His maturity was apparent and a key part of Gonzaga’s early season dominance.
• A competitive defender with no shortage of big-game experience and the physicality to put a body on bigger forwards, Kispert held his own at both forward spots last season even if he was not always able to effect shooters rotating off the ball.
• Ranking among the top shooters in college basketball, over half of Kispert’s shot attempts were catch and shoot jump shots last season. Proving to be a very reliable perimeter threat overall while running especially hot on several notable occasions, Kispert scored 1.21 points per catch and shoot jump shot in the half court [81st percentile]. He was tremendously consistent spotting up in space as his compact shooting motion seldom waivered when he did not have a hand in his face.
• Shooting the ball at a high-level in limited attempts off the dribble, Kispert found shots in a variety of ways on the perimeter displaying a strong feel for moving off the ball and the ability to stop and pop with range against sagging defenders in limited opportunities handling the ball.
• While he forced little off the dribble and is not an especially dynamic ball handler, Kispert’s timing as a cutter and ability to take the ball strong to the rim when he could get downhill helped him average 1.32 points per shot around the rim in the half court [80th percentile]. Bouncier than one might expect with a head of steam and adept at picking and choosing his spots, Kispert proved to be more than just a shooter.
• His opportunistic style translated particularly well in the open floor as he averaged a historically efficient 1.55 points per transition possession [97th percentile].
• Checking some other boxes keeping the ball moving consistently and even making some reads out of ball screens , Kispert has obvious roleplayer potential.
• Ranked 1st in the NCAA and 1st in the WCC in offensive efficiency (1.24 points per possession)
• Ranked 1st in the WCC in transition scoring (5.4 points per game)
• Ranked 1st in the WCC in spot up scoring (5.5 points per game)
• Ranked 3rd in the WCC in off screen scoring (1.5 points per game)
• Kispert is a steady, experienced defender with a good motor and whose physicality outweighed his lack of length at the collegiate level. Allowing 0.72 points per isolation possession [51st percentile], he held his own on the ball in many matchups but gave up quickness to more dynamic shot creators and could not always effect shooters when looking to contest on the perimeter.
• Making an effort to use verticality contesting inside and box out bigger forwards, Kispert did some little things and was seldom out of place on the defensive end as a senior.
About Davion Mitchell
• Davion Mitchell is a dynamic, relentless guard who made huge strides as a shooter and shot creator as a junior to lead Baylor to the program’s first National Championship last season. Widely regarded as a top-60 prospect in the high school class of 2017 after his senior year at Liberty County High School (GA), Mitchell spent one season filling a reserve role at Auburn before transferring to Baylor. Sitting out a year before emerging as a starter as a sophomore, Mitchell helped key Baylor’s rise as one of the best defensive teams in the country. Averaging 14.1 points, 5.5 assists, and 1.9 steals per game last season under coach Scott Drew, he took his game to an entirely different level to earn All-Big XII 1st Team and Defensive Player of the Year honors as the Bears dominated the Final Four.
• Listed at 6-foot-1 with a strong 201-pound frame to go along with an even wingspan, Mitchell may not be especially long, but has a tremendous combination of quickness and physicality for a guard.
• Flashing the ability to get to spots with the ball as an underclassman, Mitchell stepped into a more prominent offensive role as a junior as his improvement as a jump shooter opened up his offensive game. Able to slide off the ball in multi-guard lineups but playing primarily point guard, he shredded opposing defenses with his ability to change speeds and get downhill with or without a ball screen. Shooting the three at a high level all year and doing a much better job using his quickness to make plays for others than he did as a sophomore, Mitchell turned a corner last season to emerge as one of the more dynamic guards in college basketball.
• Mitchell proved to be a stifling defender as well. With the quickness to pressure opposing ball handlers into mistakes, the toughness to defend bigger guards, an urgency closing out shooters, and a knack for getting a hand on the ball, Mitchell took over several big games for the Bears with his ability to make an impact on both ends.
• After playing off the ball quite a bit as a sophomore, Mitchell took on a more substantial shot creating burden as a junior with over half of his possessions coming in isolation or ball screen situations. A shifty ball handler whose ability to stop and start with the ball and sharp footwork allowed him to create separation at will, he averaged a massively improved 1.14 points per pull-up jump shot in the half court [95th percentile] as he showed the ability to stop and pop with a consistency he lacked early in his career.
• Using the threat of his jumper to get downhill, Mitchell drove and moved the ball with purpose last season scoring 1.26 points per shot around the rim in the half court [72nd percentile] and emerging as a prolific drive and kick threat. Able to play above the rim in space, Mitchell’s size still worked against him in spots and he has room to improve his floater, but his ability to attack the rim and make quick reads was crucial to Baylor’s strong play on the offensive end.
• Doing an excellent job sparking the break, Mitchell’s unselfishness and ability to use his speed to simplify the game for others stood out in the open floor as he ranked among the most efficient transition threats in the country while generating as many assists as he attempted shots pushing the break.
• Making an effort to run the wings in transition and scoring 1.31 points per catch and shoot jump shot [91st percentile], Mitchell did not need the ball in his hands to contribute last season and showed the versatility to score efficiently alongside a ball-dominant guard.
• He still has some room to improve as a free throw shooter despite his otherwise impressive consistency away from the rim.
• Mitchell is a mature defensive player with an impressive combination of quickness, intensity, and toughness. He allowed 0.77 points per isolation possession [45th percentile] last season while often guarding the opposing team’s best perimeter scorer regardless of position. Doing a terrific job beating opposing ball handlers to spots, he proved adept at drawing charges or getting a hand on the ball .
• An attentive off-ball defender with a nose for the ball and a competitive streak, Mitchell may not be overly long, but has more versatility than most players his size and figures to have a chance to hold his own on the defensive end early in his career.
About Keon Johnson
• Keon Johnson is an explosive, competitive guard with an evolving skill level whose athleticism made him a difference maker on the defensive end during his freshman year at Tennessee. Widely regarded as one of the top-25 prospects in the high school class of 2020, Johnson was a bit of a late-bloomer who came on strong late in his career to earn back-to-back Mr. Tennessee Basketball honors at The Webb School (TN) despite losing much of his senior year to a meniscus injury. Carving out a significant role as a true freshman on a Volunteers team that ranked among the nation’s top defensive units for much of the season, the Tennessee native emerged as an X-factor for coach Rick Barnes. Averaging 11.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game, Johnson filled a complementary role in a balanced offense, but had some spectacular moments for the Volunteers in route to SEC All-Freshman Team honors.
• Listed at 6-foot-4 with an improving 184-pound frame to go along with a 6-foot-7 wingspan, Johnson may not be especially long, but he is an exceptional athlete with an impressive combination of speed and explosiveness.
• Playing an important offensive role for a Tennessee team that did not lean heavily on any one scorer and lacked a degree of spacing, Johnson did his best work attacking closeouts, but also got some opportunities to operate out of the pick and roll, run off screens, and go one-on-one in the post within the Volunteers’ sets. Finishing some plays emphatically in the open floor and attacking the rim, Johnson had some terrific moments as a slasher and showed promising vision as a passer, but has significant room to improve his shooting mechanics and grow as a decision-maker as well.
• Playing with great energy on the defensive end, Johnson emerged as a ball hawk early in the year doing a terrific job pressuring opposing guards, making plays in the passing lanes, and even rotating to block shots. He has room to get stronger, but already offers some versatility as a stopper.
• Spending time both on and off the ball in a system that relied heavily on ball and player movement, Johnson did some of his best work making reads away from the play. Scoring a tremendous 1.38 points per cut possession [80th percentile], Johnson’s recognition off the ball and explosiveness made him a target for designed lobs and drop passes alike.
• Attacking closeouts aggressively as well, Johnson scored 1.16 points per shot around the rim in the half court [55th percentile] overall as he has a tremendous first step, embraces contact, and can finish acrobatically around defenders or emphatically above the rim. Making an effort to find the open man on the move, Johnson has significant room to tighten up his handle and cut back on his turnovers in the open floor, but he nonetheless had some positive moments making things happen for himself and others off the dribble.
• While Johnson flashed some ability as a playmaker out of the pick and roll, he has significant room to evolve jump shooter. Scoring 0.63 points per dribble jump shot in the half court [27 th percentile], his consistency left something to be desired as a freshman. Attempting all but a few of his pull-ups inside the arc, he showed the ability to use his quickness to get to spots and elevated over defenders, but his range and mechanics remain a work in progress. While he scored 1.05 points per catch and shoot jump shot in the half court [59th percentile] he appeared reluctant at times to step into shots on the perimeter and remains still early in his development as a floor spacer.
• Johnson proved to be a tremendous fit for the Volunteers defensively as their early success was predicated on their ability to string together stops. Possessing the quickness to guard multiple positions, staying active in the passing lanes, and making several remarkable plays protecting the rim over the course of the year, Johnson’s competitiveness and tools shined for stretches last season .
• Not immune to an occasional freshman mistake while giving up strength to opposing wings in some matchups, Johnson has some things to work on, but possesses the ingredients to grow into a versatile stopper.
About Franz Wagner
• Franz Wagner is a big wing with a versatile game whose improvement as a sophomores helped lift Michigan to an Elite Eight appearance. Born in Germany, Wagner emerged from the shadow of his older brother, NBA veteran Moritz Wagner, early in his career as he solidified himself as one of the best prospects in Germany in his own right in his mid-teens. Playing primarily at the junior for ALBA Berlin early in his career, Wagner broke through at the senior level during 2018-19 season when he carved out a steady role in the EuroCup and German BBL. Gaining valuable experience and earning BBL Best German Young Player honors, Wagner rode that momentum into a strong showing at the 2019 FIBA U18 European Championship before following in his brother’s footsteps at Michigan. Emerging as a valuable piece on a veteran team as an 18-year-old freshman, Wagner showed significant growth under Head Coach Juwan Howard averaging 12.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 3 assists per game to earn All-Big Ten 2nd Team honors in a more demanding role as a sophomore.
• Listed at 6’9 with a noticeably improved 220-pound frame and solid length, Wagner is a fluid athlete with very good size and instincts for a wing who is younger than many of this draft’s one-and-done prospects.
• Playing almost exclusively off the ball as a freshman, Wagner was able to show his versatility as a sophomore still serving as a key floor spacer, but also getting some opportunities to handle the ball in the pick and roll, push the break, and take smaller wings in the post. A competitive player with a solid feel for the game, he flashed intriguing roleplayer potential while seeing minutes at both forward spots. Showing the ability to make sound decisions off the bounce and a good activity level playing off the ball, Wagner contributed in a variety of ways offensively and proved especially productive when he could find his range early in games.
• An active defender with significant experience at the professional level already, Wagner did a lot of little things on that end of the floor for the Wolverines last season getting in the passing lanes with good timing and making an effort to help protect the rim and rebound. He made major strides with his frame as a sophomore that helped him play a more physical brand of defense and still looks like he has room to get stronger which could afford him some opportunity to slide between the forward spots.
• A capable all-around offensive player, Wagner did much of his damage spacing the floor at the college level with a third of his possessions coming in spot up situations. Making some strides as a set shooter as a sophomore averaging 1.02 points per catch and shoot jump shot in the half court [54th percentile], doing a terrific job attacking closeouts with long strides, and able to make reads as a passer on the move, Wagner had some very strong stretches for the Wolverines. He was somewhat streaky from beyond the arc, but looked more fluid with his release both off the catch and off the dribble than he did as a freshman and shows a consistency at the foul line that leaves room for optimism about his potential as a shooter.
• An instinctive player off the ball who likes to attack the rim, Wagner scored 1.18 points per possession in transition [76th percentile] and 1.11 points per shot around the rim in the half court [47th percentile]. He is not overwhelmingly quick or physical off the bounce to turn the corner at will, but is comfortable attacking gaps, takes care of the ball, and can play above the rim with a head of steam.
• Making the easy play passing on the move and relocating well off the ball, Wagner’s ability to do a little bit of everything helped him earn minutes as a teenager with ALBA and made him a cog for what looked like one of the best teams in the country for long stretches of last season.
• Wagner is a diligent defender with a strong grasp of the fundamentals both on and off the ball. Making an effort to rotate, box out, fight around screens, and get a hand up on shooters, he was very solid last season.
• Though Wagner gave up quickness and strength in some high-end matchups, he showed good instincts getting in the passing lanes and using verticality around the rim as a team defender.
About Cameron Thomas
• Cameron Thomas is a natural scorer coming off one of the most productive offensive seasons by a freshman in recent NCAA history at LSU. Widely regarded as one of the top-25 prospects in the high school class of 2020 following his senior season at Oak Hill Academy (VA), the Virginia native headed to Baton Rouge with a reputation for scoring in bunches. Stepping into a massive role with the Tigers, Thomas lived up to that billing averaging 23 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game on solid efficiency numbers to earn All-SEC 1st Team Honors and propel LSU to an NCAA Tournament berth.
• Listed at 6’4 with a strong 210-pound frame to go along with solid length, Thomas has nice size for a shooting guard and is a capable all-around athlete.
• Hunting shots as aggressively as any player in the country as LSU’s first-option, Thomas is an instinctive three-level scorer with great footwork, versatility as a difficult shot maker, and tremendous one-on-one scoring ability. A crafty finisher, he thrived in transition as a freshman, but scored well operating on and off the ball for the Tigers as he was the target of many of their quick-hitters and the green light to try to find his rhythm creating his own shot.
• Possessing the physical tools to hold his own defensively, Thomas was more consistent some games than others last season—particularly off the ball.
• With three-quarters of his shots in the half court coming from the perimeter split evenly between catch and shoot and dribble jumpers, Thomas proved to be a prolific, versatile shot-maker from the first game of his freshman year. Averaging 93 points per jump shot in the half court [54th percentile], he often leaned heavily on his ability to make contested shots from all over the floor as he needed little daylight to rise and fire. Scoring under 18 points just twice this season, he showed the ability to create separation one-on-one, but routinely drained high degree of difficulty jumpers under duress all season.
• As aggressive as Thomas was from the perimeter, he was extremely opportunistic around the rim as well—particularly in transition. With a quarter of his possession coming in the open floor, he averaged 11 points per Transition possession [67th percentile]. While he is not the most emphatic finisher, he did a very good job weaving around defenders with crafty footwork and finishing with good body control.
• Scoring 11 points per shot around the rim in the half court [46th percentile], Thomas is more aggressive as a shot creator and a finisher than he is overly dynamic and he did a better job drawing fouls as a slasher than he did converting over length. An excellent free throw shooter, his ability to pick and choose his spots around the rim could give his efficiency a boost at the next level.
• Adding little as a passer, Thomas nonetheless scored with impressive efficiency for a volume scorer in a power conference, let alone a 19-year-old freshman. Some of that can be traced to his strikingly low turnover rate. He was far more likely to get up a difficult shot last season than commit an aimless turnover.
• Thomas is an inconsistent defender with the tools to hold his own but had some ups and downs on and off the ball as a freshman. Showing some fight as an individual defender in spots in LSU’s switch-heavy system, he allowed 76 points per Isolation possession [45th percentile].