Pacers sign first-round pick Chris Duarte before summer league opens

Indiana Pacers

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JULY 29: NBA commissioner Adam Silver (L) and Chris Duarte pose for photos after Duarte was drafted by the Indiana Pacers during the 2021 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on July 29, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Pacers signed first-round draft pick Chris Duarte on Monday, as they fine-tune their summer league roster.

Terms of the deal were not immediately availabe.

The 24-year-old Duarte was selected 13th overall and was the oldest player in the draft. He is expected to play in Sunday’s summer-league opener against Washington.

The Oregon star was a third-team All-American last season when he also won the 2021 Jerry West Award, which goes to the best shooting guard in Division I basketball. He started his college career at Northwest Florida State, a junior college.

Indiana also announced Tuesday that backup center Goga Bitadze sat out the team’s first two practices because of a sore back. Bitadze was Indiana’s first-round pick, No. 18 overall, in 2019.

The Pacers also are expected to announce Friday that they have re-signed free agent point guard T.J. McConnell, the league’s steals leader last season.

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