Kevin Durant Is A Big Fan Of 2021 NBA Draft Class

Kevin Durant, NBA Draft, NBA News
NBA Analysis Network

The NBA recently launched the #NBAHooperVision stream on League Pass. It is a similar idea to what the NFL is doing during their Monday Night Football telecast with the Manning-Cast. Peyton Manning and Eli Manning watch and break down the game going on with guests throughout the contest.

The NBA’s version has Jamal Crawford and Quentin Richardson as hosts. Their first guest was Kevin Durant, who is in the midst of an MVP caliber season.

Kevin Durant is leading the Brooklyn Nets with 28.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, while also handing out 5.1 assists. The points per game lead the NBA. He is a student of the game, constantly watching tape and League Pass when he is not playing himself.

That made him a great guest for #NBAHoopsVision and he did not disappoint during his appearance.

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One of the topics of discussion was the 2021 NBA Draft class and Kevin Durant did not hold back on praising the players.

Scottie Barnes, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft by the Toronto Raptors and Chris Duarte, the No. 13 overall pick of the Indiana Pacers, were two of the players he mentioned specifically.

“I like a lot of the rookies this year,” Durant said. “I like Scottie Barnes, I like [Chris] Duarte. We played them a couple weeks ago. He reminds me of an old-school shooting guard. [He’s] quick off the catch and can shoot the mid-range off a couple of dribbles too. He’s got good size. I like him. I like him a lot. I like this rookie class a lot.”

Barnes has been a revelation for the Raptors. Looked at as a raw prospect coming out of Florida State after one season, he has started all 17 games for the Raptors, averaging 14.6 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.1 steals and 0.6 blocks in 34.9 minutes per game. He has put himself squarely in the Rookie of the Year discussion.

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Duarte has seen his role diminish a bit with the Pacers getting healthy, but he has shown why he was considered one of the most NBA-ready prospects in this year’s class. At 24-years old, he is older than most rookies, but you still have to produce and he has done that. The Oregon product is averaging 13.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, two assists and 0.9 steals per game.

While it wasn’t mentioned on the stream, Kevin Durant has also given high praise to Cade Cunningham, the No. 1 overall pick of the Detroit Pistons. Durant and the Nets defeated Cunningham and the Pistons 96-90 on November 5th and after the game, he spoke highly of the Oklahoma State product.

“I love Cade’s game. I think he’s going to be a tough, tough cover for a long, long time. I got to know him while he was in high school so we built a little relationship. To play against him in the NBA is what we had a lot of conversations about — being on this level and what it took. He battled some injuries to start but to come out here and play aggressive tonight, he hit some big shots for them. I’m happy for him, looking forward to seeing his career.”

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To garner the attention of someone such as Kevin Durant is not easy. But, this was a deep, talented NBA Draft class and they are already having a positive impact on their teams early on in what should be very fruitful careers.