Chris Duarte: One of the best but unrecognized players in the Summer League

The Dominican was one of the sensations in Las Vegas but did not appear in any of the outstanding teams in the NBA Summer League

At the end of the Las Vegas Summer League, Chris Duarte did not appear in the All-Summer League Team. Neither in the first team, nor in the second.

The first thing to note is that the choice of the All-Summer League squads are selected by a panel of journalists who cover Summer League games in the NBA.

Duarte averaged 18.3 points per game, 4 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.8 blocks. He also did it by shooting 45.6% from the field, including 48.3 from the 3-point line in 27 minutes of play.

Taking those numbers to 36 minutes per game (in the Summer League, 4 periods of 10 minutes are played), the Dominican would have averages of 24.4 ppj, 5.4 rpj and 5 apj. He would also average 3.3 steals and 2.3 blocks per game. Solid numbers, but they weren’t enough to make it into the featured teams. Why?

Perhaps the best of Chris Duarte could not be seen in the statistics. Some were surprised by his handling of the ball, as in some of the games he was the point guard with his 6 feet 6 inches tall.

In addition, one of the most commented attributes of the Dominican could be better appreciated: his perimeter defense.

The statistics do not say it all. Probably seeing the numbers Duarte would have deserved to be in one of the All-Summer League Teams, which had space for two players from the upper part of the court and three close to the paint. There was a lot of competition and there was a lot to choose from.

There were even ties in the voting. The NBA he did not publicly say how many journalists the teams voted for among the media panel. There shouldn’t have been many, as there were two draws for the first team.

Davion mitchell and Payton pritchard (both from backcourt, where Duarte could appear) and Jalen johnson, Trey murphy iii and Jalen smith (frontcourt) were tied in votes forcing the league to choose an additional player for each position.

For example, Cade cunningham, selected in the second team and first pick of the Draft had averages very similar to Duarte with 18.7 points per game, 5.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 27.7 minutes of play. Almost identical if you also value the field% with 42.9 FG% and 50 3P%.

Maybe Duarte of the Indiana Pacers must have been in the team and we can only speculate that the media panel was not very extensive, and they could not see all the league matches (many of them simultaneously) and had to choose based on numbers where the Dominican is similar to many and surpassed by others. This could be the cause of the ties.

Some wondered if Duarte was left out because of his age. At 24 years old, he is older than many of the players present in Las Vegas, but he already answered that this is one of his strengths. In addition, Obi Toppin and Payton Pritchard, to give some examples, are 23 years old, so age is not a relevant factor.

But the important thing is that it was evident that at 24 years Chris is ready for the NBA and that is more important than any award.

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