Oregon basketball projected to have two first rounders in 2021

Dana Altman’s Oregon basketball team will feature two projected first-round draft picks in the eyes of NBADraft.net. The NBA Mock Draft website recently updated its 2021 Mock Draft and included a returning starter as a Top 10 pick and then a former five-star recruit who projects as a first-round selection later on in the same draft.

In this mock draft, Oregon junior and returning starting guard Will Richardson is projected to go as the 10th pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. This would mark the highest-draft pick in the modern era of Oregon basketball history. The 6-foot-5 rising-junior guard averaged 11 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. Richardson played in all 31 games for the Ducks this past season.

Oregon’s second-highest rated draft pick in the eyes of NBADraft.net is said to be rising sophomore center N’Faly Dante. Dante is currently projected to be drafted 21st overall in the first round. Dante played just 12 games for Oregon as a freshman and averaged 5.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, and played in 13.6 minutes per game. He was a five-star recruit out of high school.

If this mock draft were to play out, it would be history made for the Ducks. Oregon has never had multiple first-round draft picks in the modern era of Oregon basketball in the same season.

Rising senior guard Chris Duarte was included in the previous mock draft, but has been dropped from the projections at this time. Duarte averaged 12.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.7 steals, and 1.6 assists per game. Duarte played in 28 games for the Ducks. He is expected to have strong pro interest locally in the United States as well as outside the United States.

The Oregon Ducks are going to be considered one of the best teams in college basketball next season because of the depth and experience the Ducks are set to return from this past season’s Pac-12 regular-season championship squad. The Ducks must replace All-American guard Payton Pritchard, plus other seniors in Shakur Juiston and Anthony Mathis, but they are adding some of the best transfers in the country in UNLV grad-transfer guard Amauri Hardy plus transfer forwards Eric Williams Jr. and Eugene Omoruyi, both of whom sat out last season at Oregon as transfers.

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