The 2021 NBA draft is slated to transpire in late July and many prospects are gearing up for the possibility to be selected in the first round.
That could certainly be the case for Oregon Ducks guard Chris Duarte, who has soared in the eyes of many and is widely projected to be a first-round pick when the draft begins.
Duarte played two seasons of collegiate basketball and really impressed in his second. He showed tremendous growth on both ends of the floor en route to averaging 17.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists while shooting 53.2 percent overall and 42.4 percent from deep, both on high volume.
To make a possible pairing even more palatable, Duarte went on the HoopsHype podcast with Michael Scotto and discussed who he liked watching while he grew up in the Dominican Republic:
“Growing up, we used to watch a lot of Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. Back in my day where we’re from, I’ve got a couple of friends, and we used to make teams of Bryant and James and go against each other.”
If Duarte is available at No. 22, the Lakers could select him and have him play alongside James.
Los Angeles heavily underwhelmed in the shooting department during the first round of the NBA playoffs, and at 24 years old, Duarte could be someone L.A. relies on to be a knockdown shooter when James creates plays.
The draft is slated to occur on July 29.