— LakerTom (@LakerTom) July 28, 2021
The demand for Oregon’s Chris Duarte has risen, and there is a good chance he doesn’t make it past the Washington Wizards at No. 15. He recently worked out for the Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks. I reported the Golden State Warriors brought him back for a second workout this past weekend. The Los Angeles Lakers have also shown interest in Duarte and have made calls to try to move up. The 24-year-old is considered a surefire rookie contributor with valuable shooting skills and defensive toughness.
Given all that context, it appears the Lakers are focused on Duarte in the first round and, if he’s not available, may look to be out of the round altogether (or at least to move back in it). Or this could all be an attempt for the Lakers to obfuscate their intentions and keep some form of leverage in a trade before Thursday. We’ll find out in the hours and days to come.