Jalen Duren NBA Draft Odds: Pacers Among Best Landing Spots For Memphis Star
Mark Strotman | 4 mins
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If you’re a fan of thunderous dunks, rim protection, and astounding athleticism, Jalen Duren is your guy. The 5-star freshman center has been nothing short of excellent in his first season at Memphis, averaging 12.2 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks in 27 games this season. He’s shooting nearly 63% and has been a stout presence inside for Memphis’ top-35 defense.
NBA scouts are gushing over the potential of Duren, the youngest projected Lottery pick who won’t turn 19 until after his NBA rookie season begins. With that sort of explosiveness and potential, it’s no wonder he has been mocked as high as No. 5.
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There’s a wide range of outcomes for Duren in the NBA Draft, which makes handicapping his next team somewhat difficult. But that’s what we’re here for, so here are our projected NBA futures odds for Jalen Duren's landing spot in the NBA:
This page will be updated between March Madness and the NBA draft to reflect the shifting likelihood of Duren's first NBA team.
Jalen Duren NBA Draft Odds
|Portland Trail Blazers||+500|
|San Antonio Spurs||+700|
Odds are projected and do not reflect any odds that may be available at legal betting sites or betting apps.
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Why We’re Eyeing the Pacers
The Pacers have invested heavily in their backcourt the last few years, trading for Malcolm Brogdon and extending him through 2025 and then dealing for budding star Tyrese Haliburton. In the process, they also drafted wing Chris Duarte and then dealt big man Domantas Sabonis.
Center Myles Turner doesn’t appear to be part of the future—and his contract is up after next season—leaving plenty of future minutes for a center. Indiana won’t have a shot at the elite bigs in this class unless they move up in the Lottery, which is why we’re eyeing Duren here.
Portland Will Likely Have Multiple Top-10 Picks
The Blazers are entering a rebuild, and that means necessary investments in their frontcourt. They’ve got Damian Lillard, Anfernee Simons, and Josh Hart, but Jusuf Nurkic is an impending free agent and there’s no real future plan behind him.
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Portland needs a big man, and they’re likely going to have two top-10 picks (their own and New Orleans’ pick) so they could have multiple chances to grab Duren or use the two picks to trade up to a slot where he’s available.
Why the Pistons Are a Worthy Long Shot Pick
We highly doubt Duren could do enough in the NCAA Tournament and pre-draft process to have him jump any of the Big Three (Holmgren, Smith, Banchero) but it feels like a ceiling for him is the fourth pick—where the Pistons are currently slated to draft.
Even if Detroit fell to 5 or 6, Duren will be an option there. They’d love to pair up star point guard Cade Cunningham with an inside presence like Duren. Detroit’s NBA odds aren’t higher here because they’ll likely pick before Duren’s slot comes up, but it’s worth a look.