Measurable values: 6-11, 250 pounds
Key Stats 2021-22: 12.0 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.3 apg, 2.1 bpg, 59.7 FG percentage
NBA.com consensus mock draft position: 10 (June 6 update, previously was 9)
It wasn’t long ago that when a player was considered the top center prospect in an NBA draft class, his odds of being number 1 overall or anywhere near the top were extremely high. Deandre Ayton (2018) and Karl-Anthony Towns (2015) are recent examples of centers selected as number 1, while Dwight Howard, Andrew Bogut and Greg Oden all ranked first in the 2004-2007 period. Times have changed significantly, however, which could partly explain why Jalen Duren is the most desirable center of this design, yet doesn’t seem to be considered for the top half of the lottery. Duren is one of the newest prospects on the board after reclassifying the grades. He is described as a fulcrum who spends most of his time on the edge.
“Duren’s offense is completely paint dependent,” stated BlazersEdge.com. “He attempted 236 shots last season; 184 of them got the colour.” On the plus side, Duren is commonly described as a player with significant room for improvement. “Young talent with big assets, a physically gifted big man who can finish around the rim,” NBA.com reviewed. “On his best nights, it was (easy) to forget that he might as well have fit in at the high school level, as his physical tools at times overpowered opposing big men at the college level.”
Based on NBA.com’s mock draft poll, Duren is expected to be picked somewhere between 9 (San Antonio) and 13 (Charlotte), with some of the teams in this area of the lottery potentially looking for a rim-protecting center on land to step up their defensive efforts. SB Nation, USA Today, and Basketball News have each matched Duren’s seventh-place finish at Portland, his best draft night projection.
Andre Drummond, Dwight Howard, DeAndre Jordan or Robert Williams?
The player who “won” this poll is hoping to extend Boston’s season beyond a Game 6 tonight against Golden State in Massachusetts. The rising Williams (42 percent of the ballots) was a key factor in the Celtics’ turnaround of the season and promotion to the NBA’s top defensive line this season. Howard was next with 27 percent of the fan vote.