Surprise team interested in trading for Pacers wing Chris Duarte

Chris Duarte, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
Chris Duarte, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /

Sophomore wing Chris Duarte’s struggles with the Indiana Pacers this season despite the team’s positive outlook has been one of the more disenchanting storylines for the franchise. And now, it seems like his well-documented hardships could soon translate to a rather premature exit from the Circle City.

Stuck behind Bennedict Mathurin, Buddy Hield, Aaron Nesmith, and Andrew Nembhard in the rotation, Duarte has had a flimsy role so far this season and things don’t project to change much moving forward with the team looking its mightiest having those players logging significant minutes.

Fortunately, the latest intel points out that Indiana could have a good opportunity awaiting them in hopes of liquidating the struggling wing man for assets they can use down the road.

Surprise team interested in trading for Indiana Pacers wing Chris Duarte

HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto recently bared that the Western Conference-leading Denver Nuggets have expressed interest in trading for more backcourt reinforcements, and one of the names linked to them is Chris Duarte.

With MVP frontrunner Nikola Jokic tallying a historic, triple-double season and Jamal Murray and Aaron Gordon having notable campaigns so far, Denver is looking poised to make it far in the postseason this time. That’s why it’s far from surprising that the Nuggets brass is gearing up to make further improvements to the roster before the trade deadline to keep their edge with so many teams on win-now mode.

How committed the Nuggets are in their rumored Duarte chase remains to be seen, but they have been repeatedly mentioned as sellers for Bones Hyland, a talented scoring guard who hasn’t had the most seamless fit with Denver’s stars. Unfortunately, Duarte’s struggles has really taken a toll on his value, making a first-round pick compensation from the Nuggets very unlikely.

Hyland possesses great upside, but an already guard-heavy team like the Pacers may not find him as appealing as he’d be for other clubs. That being said, should Indiana somehow pivot to younger options at the margins, a one-on-one swap could work, though the Nuggets also have some leverage here and may demand more as negotiations go along the way with Duarte continuing his disappearing act.

Ultimately, the Indiana Pacers appear to have some momentum in actualizing a potential breakup with Chris Duarte, who has shown a lot of promise in Year 1, much to the disappointment of many who envisioned a longer partnership.

Next. The trade that can make the Pacers win the Anunoby sweepstakes. dark