1. Chris Duarte
The Kings picked up Chris Duarte from the Pacers, where he played with Sabonis, over the summer in a low-risk move. Indiana seemed to be ready to move on from him, and the Kings hoped that Duarte could turn into a solid 3-and-D option off the bench.
Especially after his preseason play, hopes for valuable minutes from him seemed warranted. Long story short, it didn’t work out. Duarte even started five games, but he shot poorly from three, averaging only 29 percent on two attempts per game, and picked up too many fouls on defense.
The expectation was that he could help turn around the Kings’ defense and provide good energy off the bench. In reality, he has barely played all of December and seems to be out of the rotation for good. Brown is usually going with Keon Ellis, Malik Monk, Sasha Vezenkov, and Trey Lyles off the bench instead.
Things like this happen. There weren’t a lot of big trade targets available for the Kings over the summer, and they wanted to see what they had before making any major moves first. Getting Duarte was a good idea, but he is not living up to expectations and could be on the move again soon.