In the midst of a long rebuilding phase, the Detroit Pistons are continuing to find a couple of gems. Playmaker Cade Cunningham has the makings of a future All-Star, while Jaden Ivey is a combo guard with good potential.

The third bright spot in the group, however, is one that deserves more shoutout than he’s been getting. Big man Jalen Duren stands at 6’10 with a 210-pound frame, filled with power and muscle as he roams the lane.

Check out how he dusted off the Orlando Magic’s Wendell Carter Jr., who isn’t a slouch himself:

Hard to believe that all that might and physique is from someone who just turned 20 last November.

With such force, Duren is able to put up pretty serviceable numbers. He’s currently at 14.0 points and 12.1 rebounds per game on 62.8% shooting from the floor. What’s notable in all that is he’s quietly ranking around the Top 8 in boards and field goal shooting in the entire league, alongside the top names, like Rudy Gobert and Giannis Antetkounmpo.

Even better, he has also thrown himself with the game’s double-double machines as he is currently inside the top 10 in the category, with 30 in just 42 games on 30.2 minutes of play per contest. It gets more impressive when you take into account that its on top of already missing 16 games in the season.

The 30 double-doubles has become the result of relentless hustle, timing, and undeniable talent, and mixing all that has allowed himself to currently have more than statsheet-stuffers Victor Wembanyama, Alperen Sengun, and Scottie Barnes, and other established rebounders, like Jarrett Allen and Clint Capela.

While it’s rough to have most of that production go to waste and be unnoticed since the Pistons are 8-49 and dead-last in the overall standings, there’s great hope that he and the entire Detroit core will find a way to make it work. It’s fun just imagining how prolific he can be once they turn this thing around, especially when he scores like this during victories:


Also, Duren can’t be really grouped into those traditional rim-running big men who usually don’t offer other abilities. He’s not just a fast and agile center who waits for lobs, drop-offs, and boards, he sees the floor well too, and is quick to recognize a pass and act on it:

In this next play, he might’ve even played PG. He put the ball on the floor while beyond the three-point line, then goes for a drive before timely kicking it out to an open teammate, who was coming off a screen:

Big men having strong interior presence and good decision-making in facilitation are always fun to see. It creates discomfort and confusion for the defense and opens up a variety of things for the offense. 

It may be hard to get plenty of eyeballs on the Pistons now, but it’ll soon come. We’ll see how well Duren develops, and how quick the Pistons can pump and mold talent out of their very promising center.