When the Detroit Pistons traded for the rights to draft Jalen Duren, they hoped they were getting their center of the future.
But here in the present, the Pistons currently have five guys who play center, which may end up being a surplus of big men.
There aren’t likely minutes for all of them, though Dwane Casey could probably find a way to make it work by playing Isaiah Stewart, Kelly Olynyk and Marvin Bagley III at power forward at times next to Nerlens Noel or Jalen Duren at center.
It’s also possible that the Pistons will end up trading one of their bigs at or before the trade deadline, and that decision will ultimately come down to Jalen Duren.
Detroit Pistons: Jalen Duren’s start in the NBA
Duren is just 18-years-old and will be the youngest player in the NBA next season, so fans that are hoping he starts right away will probably be disappointed.
Duren did impress in Summer League, and definitely looks like a guy who is physically ready for the NBA, as he is huge and athletic, especially for a guy who could still be in high school.
He has all of the physical tools, but definitely needs work on various parts of his game, particularly his rebounding.
Center is one of the most difficult positions to jump right into, as these players are expected to be the anchor of the defense, the guys yelling out switches, and in the modern NBA, they need to be able to switch all over the floor.
That’s a big adjustment for most young bigs who are mostly used to camping out in the lane and trying to block shots, not switching out on pick-and-rolls to defend perimeter players.
It will likely take Duren some time, but what if it doesn’t? There are two likely ways this will play out.