Oregon Ducks superstar Chris Duarte has declared for the NBA Draft. During the past season, he was one of the best offensive players in the NCAA, being recognized among the best players in all-offensive situations. Will keep that high-performance level in the NBA? Which skills should he adapt for playing in the league? Here we introduce his offensive profile.
Chris Duarte has an interesting size, particularly to occupy the shooting guard position, with his 198 centimeters, he stands above the average of the position (which is 195 cm). I do not see his wingspan as something prodigious, but I am sure it is fine enough.
On the other hand, his weight is a bit under the league average for his position, something like 4 or 5 Kg, which is kind of fine because he will surely add this weight during his first and second season so he will be fine there. One thing I would really like to mention about his physical frame is his physiognomy because it is particular. His upper body is quite small, but it is really strong, he looks way more compact than he really is, this is really good for him because he can absorb a lot of contacts thanks to the strength he has on this compact upper body.
This particular physical frame gives him a good level of strength as we mentioned before, and because of this and because of the ability of absorbing contacts he looks way bigger, in fact, he is able of playing like if he was bigger than he is. In my opinion, if he is able of gaining the weight needed, he will play a lot of minutes in the position that traditionally was used by shooting forwards.
If we focus now on his hands, the first thing we have to mentions is that he has a really fast hands, he can execute quick movements obtaining good results with those movements. He is right-handed. I would love to talk about his hand size, but he did not attend to the NBA combine because he had an agreement with a team, because it’s something important in a shooter, I will not make any assumptions because I prefer to leave this without being talked rather than saying something that can be wrong.
We will now go into his lower body and how it affects to his speed and acceleration. His speed is really good, and he has quite a good first step and his lateral movement is not bad at all, but he needs to work a bit in order to translate it to the next level. If now we pass to his vertical jump, again we do not have the official measurements, but it is not bidding a bad jumper overall, I think he might be in an average level in the league, maybe slightly above.
Finally, to end the physical part, we are going to talk about his body balance, which is kind of good, having his particular body frame helps him in terms of balance.
Chris Duarte had and outstanding season, producing in absurd levels in nearly every single kind of action he used during the season. However, I am kind of reluctant about him translating everything he did on NCAA to the NBA, so we will see in which offensive roles he fits better.
In order to get a good approximation to Chris Duarte’s offensive game we will show his playtype and the frequency of each action.
The action he used the most was the Spot up, using it the 24% of the time, followed closely by P&R as a handler, where we invested 18.1% of his actions, after that we have the transition and ISO actions, he surpasses in both of them the 10% but this is mostly his game. We can see that in the next figure.
We can also see his playtype distribution in this way:
So, once we saw his game distribution, I think we can see two different options of developing Duarte’s game into the next level; one of them is about giving him the ball as a secondary generator, but this is something I do not trust at all, I think his game should be conducted into an off-ball shooter that can help the generation in punctual moments of the game.
We are going to show his full stats from this season and the season before as well as his shooting chart for this season, we will come back to this chart eventually because is really important.
To end this statistical part, we are going to show a spider graphic where we add the percentile where he stands in different offensive metrics:
We are going to start with Chris Duarte’s shoot, because I think it will be the most important part of his game while he gets into the league.
In Spot up situations he had 1.255 Points per possession (PPP), this puts him in the TOP 6% of the whole NCAA D1, with this value everyone can think he can have an immediate impact in the NBA by next season. We are going to break down this Spot Up in C&S guarded, C&S unguarded and of the dribble, as we can see in the next figure.
He is in the TOP 5% in C&S actions, in particular he is in the TOP 2% while he is unguarded, so we can say his shoot is truly effective, because those numbers show us an incredible shooter. In my opinion this part of his game is going to be the easiest one to adapt into the league, moreover, I also think it will be the most efficient one, because I think he can quickly stand up into the best shooters of the league if he derivates his game mostly into this kind of actions.
Until now we got, he is one of the best (if not the best) shooter in college basketball, in particular if we talk about C&S there are not many with his numbers, but now we are going to focus into his shooting chart, where we can see two interesting things:
- He used quite a bit the Mid-range, not a lot, ok, but he used it nearly 2 times per game, it is kind of interesting because it is not a common shoot anymore, but he used it as an extra resource in order to be more dangerous to the defense, we cannot say he is a three-level scorer at all, because of this but he can be a threat in particular moments. He has a shooting percentage of the 53%, which is quite good, it makes him produce 1.08 points per shoot which is also a really good mark for being a Mid-range shoot.
- He has a truly incredible shoot chart, in particular when we talk about how symmetrical it is. We can typically see some shoot charts like this one underneath the text, where the player (in this case Darius Thompson in Brindisi until early April) has a very asymmetrical chart, where we can see that he is a better shooter from one side than from the other.
In this case we can see the tendency it exists in Darius Thompson game, where he is much better shooter from the right than from the left, however this is not happening (as clear as here) with Duarte’s chart. His chart is way more symmetrical than this. He has a variation of the 9% between both sides of the court, however, this variation is not bad because it is from 52% to 43% which, basically means stepping back from being the best shooter to a really good shooter, so it is not a problem at all.
He also shown a really good production in off screen actions, where he produced up to 1.2 PPP, with a shooting percentage around the 45%, in my opinion he can excel in short off-screen situations like flares, Staggers or even Diamonds. I think in this type of actions que can be a bad dream for nearly every team in the league.
He can also shoot threes in transitions with a lot of confidence, this will be great for him, because transition actions are very used in Regular Season (between a 19% and a 12% of total actions of NBA teams) so it is good to know Duarte is a guy with the ability of shooting threes in this kind of action.
Talking now about his shooting mechanics, and to be honest, not much to say, although I am a big fan of watching and control every step of the shooting mechanics of the players here, I have to come to the very basics: “Is he efficient as a shooter?” Yes, he is, probably Nº1 in the draft if we talk about efficiency. So, although I think he has something to improve in order to get an academic shooting mechanic it really does not matter, because he is a formidable shooter, so, unless he has some issues in the next level, I would not even consider touching this part of his game at all. In case there is an issue (I truly hope not) I think he should assemble his shoot a bit quicker, it is not like is his shoot is slow, but it can be way faster, so that could be a point, in particular while the ball is going up, this movement could be done way faster in my humble opinion.
Now, to finalize the shooting section I would like to give a few words to his shooting selections. I do not have anything against it, but I think he needs to change the way he plays, he needs to get a higher % in Spot Up actions, as well as in Off-screen plays, in my opinion this actions have to come from the actions he plays as a P&R Handler, but, in particular they should come from the ISO actions, I do not think he should spend more than the 8% of his actions in ISOs, and now he is using nearly the 13%.
So, to sum up, I think just because of his size and shooting abilities Chris Duarte would be able to spend a lot of time in the league, in my opinion, shooting will be, for sure his main argument. We saw this year, as we can see in the chart we are adding right now that this year, more than the 40% of the points he scored came from behind the line, however, I think it is safe to say that que will improve that number in his firsts season in the league.
Near the rim:
We are going to talk now how he performs while finishing near the rim. The first thing we got to say is that, thanks to his upper body he can finish through contact, at least at NCAA level, it would be intriguing to me watching which is his top level he can get here. I am quite skeptical here because I do not think he will translate this as the same level he had done in NCAA, however, I think he will be quite fine. He can sometimes be a bit overwhelming; he is not the kind of player who is trying to play every single time above the rim, but he definitely can do it.
If we talk now about ISO actions, he scored 0.98 PPP, which is actually pretty good, and, in fact, he is not any bad playing ISOs, he makes lectures quick enough and he worked a lot with Dana Altman to publish his decisions. He is a good Euro-step finisher, and he has a great control of his steps, he is really interesting when finishing with a loss step, because he does it so fluid that most of the time defenders cannot react quick enough.
He is capable of obtaining really good impact for finishing near the rim because his shooting ability. Let me explain a bit. He is a great shooting player so defense will try to avoid him getting the ball in shooting like actions, he knows this, so he developed a pretty solid Backdoor Cut, and he gets into the rim with this actions like a knife pass though the butter.
But there is a factor that kind of worries me in the way he finish around the rim, and this is the fact that he struggles to find good shoots while finishing in traffic, in my opinion this limitation is very important, because finishing in traffic is crucial in the NBA if you are a ball-handler, so that’s one of the things why I do not trust him as a truly ball-handler in NBA.
In this part of the inform we are going to see how Chris Duarte performs in terms of ball-handling ability. We will see that he had a lot of commodities to generate points, and I would give an argument about, this is a good add to his game as a shooter and not really a point of work as a ball-handler//generator, although, as I mentioned before that is something he cand do in punctual situations.
As we have shown in the offensive evaluation of the player, nearly the 30% of his offensive actions came with the ball, so we have a large sample in order to check how can he translates that part of his game to the NBA, moreover, we can also see which areas he needs to improve in order to achieve good results in the biggest level.
Okey, so the first thing we have to mention is his context, Oregon lost Payton Pritchard in last year draft, as everyone knows, he joined the Boston Celtics, and although they get Lj Figueroa the place of a truly main generator and a ball-handler was missed, I would not say that Chris covers that space, because it is not true, but he helped in that role. We can see that in the increment of his assists and especially in the number of points he produced, this was really good to his NBA stock, because he had shown everybody that he can kind of handle an offense.
So, we are going to focus more on how he dribbles. The first everyone sees is how strong is his dribbling, his movements look like he is moving a stone and he uses this really well, he is kind of physical while dribbling contacting a lot with his defenders, I am not sure how good this will be in the NBA, I think he can translate it well, but it could have some problems.
He is a player who is commonly on control of his dribbling in nearly every situation, he also has a good control of his body while dribbling, and although he truly shown a lack of burst, he has a good control of acceleration and deceleration, he is also a player that moves his body well, capable of going down and high really quick, he also uses his other parts of the body while dribbling, being able of getting a good amount of separation from his defender.
I think he is not a dribbler that try a lot of complex things, he relies too much on his physical abilities, which is something, that, although I like it, I am not sure if it will be enough, because, yes, he does goods reads, he identifies quicky how to attack his defender, and he finds good paths to the rim, however, here comes another problem we have mentioned before… He is not a good finisher in traffic, he knows that, so he tends to avoid traffic situations.
He has worked for two seasons with Dana Altman, so he understands really well the half-court game, he reeds it really well and knows where and how pass the ball in every situation, his reads are quick, and he is patient enough in order to get the best option. However, he is not a creative passer neither someone who has a generation vocation, so he tends to get what the defense gives him. He is not someone who is looking for the pass every time, however, he is okey as an interior passer, as well as doing extra passes from outside the 3-point line. He has a good technique, but he is nothing special in this part of the game.
Clearly, I think he will not be a problem for any team he joins, but he is not a player who you can trust as a passer and that is why I do not believe in him as a truly generator and that is why I would give him as many pick and roll actions as he had in Oregon. Again, it is something I have repeated a lot, I am not saying he is a bad player doing that, but it is not the best way of using Chris Duarte, so you will underuse him.
Opinion about his offensive game:
In my personal opinion Chris Duarte fits lovely in absolutely any team of the league, he has a good size for playing the typical position SG occupies and can even go to the SF. His shooting ability is amazing, he will translate that part of the game rather quickly so will have a good impact. After that he will have two paths, but one of them seems unlikely because, as I explained before I do not believe a lot in his on ball game, however he can be an amazing shooter with an slightly above average finishing near the rim and a little playmaking ability, I thought in 2 different pro comparisons for his offensive game and I thought on a bigger Khyri Thomas or Darrun Hilliard, two great shooters but with some more ability than just that, in my opinion if he is able to get into this level he will be a really good player, Darrun Hillard is a 20 minutes NBA guy although he is playing in Euroleague right now, and Thomas’ lack of size punish him to much, Duarte will surely surpass this problem of size, so he will be able to get more minutes and will be able of impacting on any team since game 1.
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