San Antonio Spurs Draft

2022 NBA Mock Draft 4.0: Dust settles on an unpredictable class

Chet Holmgren
Chet Holmgren / Abbie Parr/GettyImages
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2022 NBA Mock Draft
Jalen Duren / Abbie Parr/GettyImages

Memphis. player. 149. . . . Jalen Duren. 12

This would undoubtedly be a “run to the podium” moment for Sam Presti and the Oklahoma City front office as the team would have a chance to solidify its frontcourt in a big way (no pun intended). A combination of Chet Holmgren and Jalen Duren would be absurdly versatile, athletic, and skilled to the point that I think the Thunder could find themselves seriously competing for a playoff spot much sooner than anticipated.  

There’s no doubt in my mind that teams will be calling to trade up if Duren is still available by the 12th pick, but I have a hard time believing that the Thunder would accept any offer that doesn’t include a highly-valuable future 1st round pick and/or a very good player. And even then, the sheer two-way versatility of a Holmgren-Duren frontcourt could be too appealing for the Thunder to even consider a trade. 

For any Thunder fans that have worries about Holmgren’s skinny frame and how well it would hold up against NBA-caliber bigs on both ends of the floor, this selection should make any of those worries melt away. While Duren could operate in the paint with other bruising bigs, Holmgren can slide out to the perimeter where he should be playing the majority of his minutes to begin with.

He would be able to operate mostly as a help defender around the rim on defense when needed. On offense, he’ll be able to show off his full perimeter arsenal that he mostly couldn’t showcase at Gonzaga.