Photo Credits: Paul Sancyo/AP
With the Oklahoma City Thunder taking hold of picks 16 and 18 in the upcoming draft, taking a deep dive into mid-first-round talent is of the utmost importance. In the next coming days, the Thunder will place guards Chris Duarte and Tre Mann under close consideration by means of a workout.
Let’s check them out:
Oregon guard Chris Duarte (6-foot-6; 190 pounds; 24 years old)
Source: Chase Hughes (7/8)
Senior Averages: 17.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.9 steals, 32.6 minutes
As a 24-year-old, Chris Duarte enters the draft as one of the oldest prospects available. Though, even despite the seasoned age, Duarte is still widely considered to be a first-round selection in the upcoming draft. Duarte was a sniper in his tenure with Oregon going from a 33.5% shooter in his Junior year, to shooting 42.4% from distance on 5.5 attempts this season. Duarte’s ability to shoot from deep range rarely comes from on-ball shot creation, but his excellence on DHO’s, coming off screens, and shooting off of the catch make him a firm piece to round out lineups. Also major perk, Duarte doesn’t often show this side of his game — but he can go up for some posters.
Duarte’s spectrum of offensive play makes him more polished than most in the draft class, though, that is to be expected being 24-years-old. Duarte’s pitch to other team’s is on the same gridline as no. 30 pick from last year, Desmond Bane. Bane was knocked down a few pegs for his four-year tenure in college, but that maturity allowed the guard to be a contributor straight away, even shooting 43.1% from downtown. Duarte’s aforementioned shooting ability etches him out to be an intriguing offensive player, and his sneaky hops help tighten up this package. Duarte had moments on the other side of the ball too with his 1.9 steals. His biggest selling point though: he’ll be contributing immediately.
In some cases, one of your biggest strengths, can also be one of your biggest weaknesses — that’s Duarte’s relationship with his age. Duarte can make the move to producing in bench minutes, but their is a valid question as to how much potential he has untapped. On another note, Duarte’s defense was solid in college, but he’s not known for defending multiple positions.
Draft Evaluation: Mid-Late First Rounder
Florida guard Tre Mann (6-foot-5; 190 pounds; 20 years old)
Source: Tre Mann (7/7)
Sophomore Averages: 16.0 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.4 steals, 32.4 minutes
Tre Mann has slowly climbed draft boards in the past month or so, and there’s little sign of his stock slowing down. Mann saw a gigantic leap in his sophomore season going from scoring 5.3 points producer off the bench to one of Florida’s top dogs averaging 16.0 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per contest. Mann’s game has centralized into an on-ball shot creator leaning heavily on his hallmarked stepback to fire off shots. Mann’s sharp improvement is a main reason as to why so many teams are enamored by his play as the once 27.5% three-point shooter now is a consistent threat on a 40.2% clip.
Mann’s skillset of having quick handle plus a keen ability to stepback and create from downtown tends to be difficult to find past the lottery, but as his current projection stands — his landing spot may be past no. 14. Regardless of selection, Mann has a colossal amount of potential waiting to be broken into. Mann’s ability to score doesn’t solely rest from downtown as the 6-foot-5 guard possesses a sweet touch near the free throw line, often elevating for floaters. As a playmaker Mann was the ideal orchestrator for 6-foot-11 center Collin Castleton coming off of screens, he also has an understanding of kicking out to the perimeter.
When taking a player one-on-one, Mann has the tools to break away and create at any given moment, but he doesn’t have a quick first step that can open the floodgates to the interior. Mann can go up for dunks aswell, though with no lightning fast speed, that part of his game usually salts away. Defensively Mann needs retuning while defending on the ball, but also when attempting to close the gap on defenders.
Draft Evaluation: Mid-Late First Rounder