Kings acquire Duarte from Pacers in exchange for two picks originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
The Kings are adding backcourt help to ease the load off of De’Aaron Fox.
On July 6, Sacramento announced that it had acquired 6-foot-6 guard Chris Duarte from the Indiana Pacers in exchange for two second-round draft picks, one in 2028 and another in 2030.
Back on June 30, The Athletics’ Shams Charania reported that the Kings and Pacers were “nearing a deal” to send the 26-year-old to Sacramento for unspecified draft compensation.
Now almost a week after the trade was first reported, it is clear what Indiana will get in return for Duarte, a promising young guard in need of a fresh start.
The Pacers initially drafted Duarte 13th overall in the 2021 NBA Draft and almost immediately, he made an impact. In his rookie season, Duarte played in 55 games — 39 starts — and averaged 13.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.0 steals in 28.0 minutes per game.
Duarte saw his playing time decrease during the 2022-23 NBA season though, as the guard began to play center around Bennedict Mathurin, the No. 6 picks in the 2022 draft.
Still, Duarte was effective in his limited role.
Despite playing almost nine fewer minutes in his sophomore season compared to his rookie season, Duarte still averaged a respectable 7.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 46 games. Although his shooting percentages were lower last season, having to deal with inconsistent playing could have been one reason.
And after a year, Duarte will finally be in Sacramento.
Before the 2022 draft, Indiana reportedly approached Sacramento and offered Duarte and the sixth pick in exchange for the fourth pick, which the Kings used to draft Keegan Murray, whom the Pacers also wanted to select.
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With EuroLeague MVP Sasha Vezenkov joining the Kings this summer to go along with their addition of Duarte, it seems as if Sacramento is primed to have another successful regular season.
And if all goes well for the Kings and their new additions, they might be in line for a deeper playoff run next season as well.