San Antonio Spurs Draft

5 Lob Threat Prospects the Spurs could pair with Dejounte Murray

Alabama v Memphis
Alabama v Memphis / Joe Murphy/GettyImages
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San Antonio Spurs
Jalen Duren / Joe Murphy/GettyImages

player. . . . Jalen Duren. 4. 451.

Like Williams, Memphis' Jalen Duren is a defensive-minded big that can do some serious damage in the paint and in the dunker's spot. Unlike Williams, though, Duren will only be 18 years old on draft night and has a ceiling that warrants a lottery pick. He has a very NBA-ready body for his age that does not come around often and has already garnered him some comparisons to Chris Webber and Dwight Howard.

Unfortunately for Duren, while he'll certainly be a more-than-capable lob threat to pair with Dejounte Murray, I think he has a few things going against him that may cause the Spurs to go in a different direction. Most notably, Duren has the fewest offensive perimeter skills of the top four players on this list, which would not fit the mold of multi-positional perimeter basketball that Brian Wright seems to be envisioning for the Spurs.

Most of Duren's potential lies in his defense (which is undeniably already very, very good), but the Spurs investing in him will mean gambling on his ability to develop some semblance of an offensive game outside of the paint. This will be particularly important if the Spurs plan to play Duren, Murray, and Poeltl on the floor all at the same time-- something I find a bit unrealistic at this point, but not impossible.

Ultimately, though, Duren's versatility on defense alone may be all the Spurs need to be sold on gambling on him. If at some point he can develop a mid-range jump shot in the same way as Bam Adebayo, for example, Duren could have a long and successful career ahead of him.

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