The Pacers ended up with Oregon’s Chris Duarte on draft night, using the No. 13 pick to select him. However, Duarte drew plenty of interest from other teams before Indiana snatched him up late in the lottery, writes J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star.
[RELATED: 2021 NBA Draft Results]
According to Michael, a Warriors official told Duarte on the way to the draft that he’d be their choice at No. 14. Golden State subsequently tried to make a trade with the Pacers after Indiana picked Duarte, says Michael. Meanwhile, the Knicks‘ “furious” attempts to move into the top 10 or the late lottery were believed to be focused on Duarte, according to Michael, who adds that the Jazz offered the No. 30 pick and Joe Ingles in a deal to get in position to draft the Oregon wing.
A Warriors source denied to Michael that Golden State tried to trade for Duarte even after selecting Moses Moody at No. 14, but Michael says two independent sources confirmed his report, and Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area (Twitter link) corroborated it.
Here’s more on the 2021 NBA draft, the day after:
- Hornets president of basketball operations Mitch Kupchak said there was huge demand for the No. 11 pick, which Charlotte used to draft James Bouknight. “There was as much demand for that pick this year as I’ve ever seen for a pick in my years,” the veteran executive said, per Jonathan M. Alexander of The Charlotte Observer (Twitter link).
- The Mavericks entered draft night without any picks, but president of basketball operations Nico Harrison said the team got “lots of calls” about getting into the first or second round. The price was ultimately “too rich for our blood,” according to Harrison (Twitter link via Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News).
- A pair of second-round picks by Atlantic teams are expected to be draft-and-stash prospects. The Celtics‘ No. 45 pick, Juhann Begarin, will likely remain in France for another season, per president of basketball operations Brad Stevens (Twitter link via Jared Weiss of The Athletic). And the Sixers’ No. 50 pick, Filip Petrusev, also isn’t expected to come over right away, as first reported by Rich Hofmann of The Athletic (Twitter link) and later confirmed by president of basketball operations Daryl Morey (Twitter link via Derek Bodner of The Athletic).