As the Kings look forward to the back half of the 2023-24 offseason, they appear determined to build from the ground up organizationally through development and continuity. With an offseason full of transactions and teams making moves to improve for next season and beyond, the Kings chose to bring back a nearly identical roster from this past season while improving around the edges.
The Kings did improve around the edges by acquiring Indiana Pacers wing Chris Duarte for two second-round picks, among other moves the Kings made. With Sacramento set to focus on building around De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, Keegan Murray, and potentially even Kevin Huerter, Duarte has a chance to improve Sacramento in multiple facets of the game this season.
Duarte is a career 35% shooter from three in two seasons with the Pacers. After a strong rookie campaign where he shot 37% from three (13 PPG, 4 RPG, 2 APG, 1 SPG on 43% shooting in 28 MPG across 55 games and 39 starts), Duarte’s number dipped in his second season with the addition of Bennedict Mathurin in the backcourt. Coupled with a full season without Domantas Sabonis, with whom Duarte built a strong connection, the young wing struggled in year two.
Those struggles produced significantly worse shooting splits (37/32/84), with just 8 PPG, 3 RPG, 1 APG, and only 20 MPG across 46 games (12 starts). Duarte’s durability has been a concern in his first two seasons in the league, as he is yet to play over 55 games in a single season, constantly missing time in the lineup with injuries. The change of scenario to a contending team in a stacked Western Conference should give Duarte a chance at a fresh start for a deep Kings roster.