Chris Duarte is expendable
The Kings got Chris Duarte from the Pacers, where he played with All-Star Center Domantas Sabonis, in a low-risk move. It was a chance for Duarte to get a fresh start after two injury-ridden seasons in Indiana and for the Kings to get a physical defender on the wing.
Duarte had some solid games in a Kings uniform, like the team’s 129-113 win over the Dallas Mavericks. Most times, however, he has only a small impact off the bench, and his minutes are very up-and-down.
On defense, he picks up too many fouls too quickly, which prevents him from having the impact the Kings envisioned him to have when they traded for him. Duarte has only played 17 games this season, and there’s still time for him to find his footing with his new squad.
Banking on that is a risky move though and when a deal that gets the Kings a real wing defender becomes available Duarte should not be off the table. For the Kings, he is expendable but other teams could use him, especially in a rebuild.
Duarte is 26 with only 118 NBA games under his belt so far. There is still room for growth if he can stay healthy but the Kings don’t really have the time to wait for that.