Pacers sign 1st-round pick Duarte before summer league opens

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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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