It’s been a big day for former Oregon Men’s basketball players, aka #ProDucks.
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Lets check in with the most recent signing, 1st round draft pick Payton Pritchard. Pritchard signed a four year deal worth 10.45 million over 4 years with the Boston Celtics. Pritchard is expected to fill in as the Celtics back-up point guard for the 2020-21 NBA season. On a side note of interest, former North Eugene Highlander Danny Ainge, the GM of the Celtics, chose Pritchard as the 26th pick of the first round of the 2020 NBA draft. I expect Pritchard to contribute to the Celtics as a rookie and have a successful NBA career.
Bol Bol is also signing a new deal with the Denver Nuggets worth 4.2 million over the next 2 years. Bol initially was expected to be a high lottery draft pick, but an unfortunate injury late in the Ducks 2018 season caused him to fall to the 44th pick in the second round of the 2019 NBA draft where Miami Heat then proceeded to trade Bol to the Denver Nuggets. Bol‘s initial contract with Denver was a 2 way deal and Bol only played spot minutes over the past two years with the Nuggets. Bol, who spent his first NBA season trying to recover from his previous ankle injury, is expected to be a role player for the Nuggets during the 2020-2021 season. A very unique player at 7’2, Bol Bol is a surprisingly versatile basketball player. He can dribble like a point guard and shoot 3s with the best of them while using his length to block shots with both hands. Expect Bol to be productive in the minutes he plays this year.
Chris Boucher, another unicorn for the Oregon Ducks, also had a slow start to his NBA Career. After suffering an injury late in the Ducks 2017 season, Boucher went undrafted that same year but agreed to be one of the first players to sign a two way deal with the Golden State Warriors. Chris Boucher spent most of his rookie year rehabbing the injury but did ultimately play some minutes in the NBA G League for the Warrior affiliate Santa Cruz Warriors. Interestingly enough Boucher was on the Warrior's roster as they won the 2018 NBA Finals. Unfortunately, after that season Boucher was released by Golden State. Boucher didn’t have to wait long as the Toronto Raptors signed him to another 2 way deal. Chris spent most of the 2019 season with the Raptor's G League affiliate, Raptor 905, where he averaged 27.2 pts, 11.4 rebounds, and 4.1 blocks on the season Boucher was named G League MVP and Defensive player of the year. Boucher won his 2nd NBA Championship with the Raptors, winning the NBA title in 2019. Boucher‘s new deal with the Raptors is for13.5 million over 2 years. With several high profile players leaving in free agency, the Raptors will count on the 7’4 center to play a bigger role in the up coming season.
Going to be an exciting 2021 NBA season with multiple former Ducks who are expected to play larger roles for their NBA teams. With Dana Altman coaching at Oregon, you can expect to see many more Ducks coming to your favorite NBA teams in the near future. Go Ducks.