3 players to watch for the Indiana Pacers in the preseason

Indiana Pacers, Isaiah Jackson - Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Pacers, Isaiah Jackson - Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /
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Chris Duarte, Indiana Pacers
Chris Duarte, Indiana Pacers – Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports /

Chris Duarte could be the future of the Indiana Pacers

Indiana selected Chris Duarte with their lottery selection in the 2021 NBA Draft and the Oregon product shined during the Summer League. He looked every bit the part as a two-way machine that can help this team from Day 1.

Duarte was highly touted as a wing defender and shot creator as the draft process came to a conclusion and the Pacers jumped on him with the 13th overall pick. Needless to say, Indiana is going to need the rookie to step up in his first season.

Injuries have already decimated this team before the season even started. Caris LeVert, T.J. Warren, and Edmond Sumner are all expected to miss the start of the season with Sumner likely out for the entire season with an Achilles injury. That leaves a huge hole in the rotation that someone needs to grab ahold of.

Duarte was already going to have his hands full as a contributor off the bench to replace Doug McDermott but the 24-year-old rookie may be thrown into the starting lineup right away. These four tune-ups should serve as a chemistry-building process to get him familiar with the rest of the starters.