An NBA champion has been crowned to crown the 2020-21 season, but don’t log out of the NBA just yet.
The 2021 NBA Draft is less than a week away, and simulations of drafts and fake trades are flying all over social media. Lottery team fans tweet their teams begging them to pick their favorite players, while Bucks fans sit and wait for their championship gear to arrive in the mailbox.
Four Oregon Ducks – Chris Duarte, Eugene Omoruyi, LJ Figueroa, and Amauri Hardy – will wait to hear their name called on July 29. I broke down the top three landing spots for each in the draft.
Chris Duarte – Guard
Confirmed Pre-Draft Workouts – Hornets, Warriors, Pacers, Wizards, Knicks
Reported Pre-Draft Workouts – Spurs, Thunder, Pelicans
1. Los Angeles Lakers – The Lakers have a ton of offseason moves ahead of them, as players like Dennis Schroder, Alex Caruso and Andre Drummond are all free agents. They struggled to shoot the ball and thrive on having defensive players, and Duarte is a natural fit.
This is a plug-and-play option that can score from anywhere, create its own shot, and defend most positions. LeBron James would love to have a teammate like Duarte.
Duarte might not be there when the Lakers pick at 22, and the pick can be thrown in the trade offers, but the Oregon forward would be a steal for the Lakers in their quest to return to the final. of the NBA.
2. New York Knicks – The Knicks may not have much depth in their backcourt / wing of their playoff team this year, as Derrick Rose, Alec Burks, Elfrid Payton and Reggie Bullock are all agents. free without restriction. Head Coach Tom Thibodeau will love Duarte and his versatility and drive.
Duarte could give the Knicks all the pop off the bench with sophomores Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley. The Knicks have plenty of draft capital to select Duarte or even trade for him, as they have the 19th and 21st picks and two second-round picks.
3. Memphis Grizzlies – The Grizzlies are really close to being a competitor in the West, and Duarte could be the piece that pushes them over the top. They have quite a few guards and wingers in their lineup, including the former Duck Dillon brooks, but Duarte has such a comprehensive game that could easily translate into any role the Grizzlies need from him.
The Grizzlies had the seventh best defensive rating (123.4) and eighth best offensive rating (115.0) in the regular season, according to NBA.com. Duarte could help those two odds improve and help the Grizzlies go from a good team to a great team with his shooting prowess and defensive tenacity.
Eugène Omoruyi – Forward
Confirmed Pre-Draft Workouts – Warriors, Pacers, Wizards, Lakers
Reported Pre-Draft Workouts – Suns, Raptors, Nets
1. Boston Celtics – The Celtics could use a guy like Omoruyi who is tough, physical and can be a reliable scoring option. He scored in double digits in all but two games as a Duck last year and wasn’t afraid to put his body on the line to fire a charge.
Semi Ojeleye is a free agent and Grant Williams isn’t much of a threat to score from the bench, so Omoruyi could be a good choice and make an immediate impact for the Celtics. Omoruyi is also a player similar to Celtics new head coach Ime Udoka, physical attackers who could come out and knock down a three, and both are of Nigerian descent.
2. Atlanta Hawks – With the news that Onyeka Okongwu will miss six months due to shoulder surgery and John Collins ‘contract status in the air, Omoruyi could slip straight into the Hawks’ rotation as that rookie. The Hawks had a few scoring options off the bench, but Omoruyi would provide the physique and defensive tenacity they lack.
3. Los Angeles Clippers – The Clippers don’t have a big guy who can score consistently every night, and a number of players will be free agents, including Serge Ibaka (player option), Patrick Patterson, Nicolas Batum and DeMarcus Cousins. . They need someone who will bring energy, akin to what Bobby Portis gave the Bucks in the playoffs.
LJ Figueroa – Guard / Forward
Confirmed Pre-Draft Workouts – Lakers, Warriors, Kings
Reported Pre-Draft Workouts – Celtics
1. Golden State Warriors – The Warriors love to add wing shooters, and Figueroa’s playstyle as a 3-and-D player is in great demand. He had a great shooting season last year, splashing 37.7% of his threes and 46.7% of his field goal attempts. If Kent Bazemore and / or Kelly Oubre Jr. walk in free agency, Figueroa will add depth to the winger and bolster the Dubs’ top five defense from last season.
2. Charlotte Hornets – The Hornets have a lot of unproven bench depth, and the addition of Figueroa would give them a boost in scoring and defense off the bench. Charlotte also had one of the worst rebounding teams in the league and could lose Cody Zeller and Bismack Biyombo to free agency. Figueroa led the Ducks in rebounds with 6.1 per game.
3. Boston Celtics – The Celtics have had the worst defensive rating in the playoffs this year, according to NBA.com, and they could benefit from Figueroa’s ability to defend multiple positions and force turnovers. They also shot poorly against a below-par Nets defense, and Figueroa is one of the most underrated shooters in the draft.
Amauri Hardy – Guard
1. Utah Jazz – Hardy may not sign with a team until the draft is over, but the Jazz need a backup playmaker. While his numbers from his one season in Oregon didn’t stand out, he was a reliable host while Will richardson recovered from his hand injury. Hardy’s best years have been at UNLV, where he has shown his ability to score in clusters and hand out dimes.
2. Brooklyn Nets – The Nets are in a similar position to the Jazz, as Mike James and Chris Chiozza are restricted free agents. James, who was not drafted in 2012, provided a spark on the bench for the Nets, and Hardy could find his way to the NBA in a similar role. It’s unclear whether Hardy worked with any teams leading up to the draft, but Nets general manager Sean Marks has an eye for finding talent and bringing them to Brooklyn.
3. New York Knicks – Essentially, the Knicks’ entire backcourt will test free will, and Hardy could work his way into the rotation if they lose depth. The Knicks have four draft picks at the moment and are generally active in signing undrafted free agents.
More from Ducks Digest
Johnny Johnson III of Oregon named to 2021 Biletnikoff Prize Watchlist
REPORT: Altman agrees to extend contract
Torres’ take: Oregon soccer recruiting is not where it needs to be
Connect with Ducks Digest on social media
Follow Dylan on Twitter: @drksportsnews
Like and follow Ducks Digest on Facebook: @DucksDigest
Follow Ducks Digest on Twitter: @Ducksdigest
Find more Oregon Ducks content at Ducksdigest.com
Subscribe to our YouTube channel HERE
Listen to the latest episode of the Ducks Digest podcast HERE