NBA Draft: Pacers pick Ducks' Duarte
The Trail Blazers didn't have a pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.
But, the Trail Blazers acquired the drafts rights to the No. 43 pick from New Orleans, power forward Greg Brown III from Texas. They sent a future second-round pick and cash consideration to New Orleans.
"Greg Brown is a dynamic young player with a high ceiling," said Neil Olshey, president of basketball operations.
The 6-9, 205-pound Brown averaged 9.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 26 games (24 starts) for Texas.
A state of Oregon player went in the lottery. Indiana selected Oregon guard Chris Duarte with the No. 13 pick.
Oklahoma State's Cade Cunningham went No. 1 to Detroit, followed by the G League's Jalen Green to Houston, USC's Evan Mobley to Cleveland, Florida State's Scottie Barnes to Toronto and Gonzaga's Jalen Suggs to Orlando.
Meanwhile, it has been reported that the Los Angeles Lakers (one of Portland's rivals), who already have LeBron James and Anthony Davis, will be trading for point guard Russell Westbrook.
Duarte became the first lottery pick of the Dana Altman era. He's Oregon's highest draft pick since Luke Jackson went No. 10 overall in 2004, and the eighth-highest selection in program history.
Duarte was stellar for the Ducks as a senior in 2020-21. He averaged 17.1 points per game while shooting a sizzling .532 percent from the floor and .424 percent from 3-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.
The Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, native was especially good down the stretch of the regular season. He 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.
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