The Detroit Pistons got exactly what they wanted in the three-team deal for power forward Jalen Duren. Here’s what he could bring to the Pistons frontcourt.
Detroit Pistons head coach Dwane Casey was quick to point out who Jalen Duren reminded him of.
“I don’t want to put too much pressure on him, but he reminds me of a guy I recruited since he was 14 — Shawn Kemp,” Casey said to the media. “They’re raw the same way, still got to learn the game, but have everything you can’t teach — the athleticism, the power and the jump, the lob threat.”
Shawn Kemp aka “the Reignman” was an explosive power forward who played for the Seattle Supersonics. Why did he have that nickname? Because no matter where any player threw it, he was going to slam it down.
The 6’11, 250 lbs Jalen Duren has that similar ability. Despite being the youngest player on the draft night, Duren comes from a good pedigree at his one season at the University of Memphis under head coach Penny Hardaway. He averaged 12.1 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 1.3 assists in his only season as a Tiger. His two assistants should be familiar to all Pistons’ fans in Larry Brown and Rasheed Wallace.
Duren is ready to go to work
Memphis has the reputation of getting players ready for the NBA in the one and done style. James Wiseman of Golden State and Precious Achiuwa both were freshmen when they were drafted in 2020.
Casey’s plan is for patience for Duren, similar to Kemp, who became more of a complete player as his career went along.
“Shawn was a little bit bigger in his shoulders, but the same lob threat, attacking the rim, tearing-the-rim-down ability that Shawn had. Shawn developed his shooting in his second and third and fourth year after hours of work, and that’s what Jalen’s got to do, put himself in the gym, work on his shooting, but not put pressure on himself that’s what he’s got to do to play this year. That’s going to come with hours and hours of work in the gym.”
Duren falls into a traditional center and compares to Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo. His ability to play well in the pick-and-roll offense will play up to the Pistons’s strength at guard. He fits into playing into the low post from an offensive standpoint.
The Pistons needed a true center as a rim protector and as an option to throw down in the low post. He has shown abilities to be a good passer, which serves well to what the Pistons want to do on the 3-point perimeter. Overall, Duren will fit into this young core that general manager Troy Weaver has assembled so far.