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ESPN's Bilas believes Memphis' Duren would be a 'great' pick for San Antonio

Many mock drafts have the Spurs selecting Duren with pick No. 9.

SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Spurs own three first-round picks in the 2022 NBA Draft and many mock drafts have the Spurs selecting Memphis' Jalen Duren.

Duren is described as a powerful center, with an NBA-ready frame but is young (19 years old) and is seen as a project.

His upside is tremendous but if the Spurs were to select Duren, what could the team expect immediately?

Defense.

"Duren would be a great selection [for San Antonio], because he reminds me a little bit of Bam Adebayo," said ESPN's Jay Bilas about the possibility of the Spurs selecting Duren at No. 9. "I'm not sure offensively if he is there yet."

Offensively, Duren is a project. 

He could develop a mid-range game and a much-needed NBA three-point touch. However, he gets most of his buckets in the paint with his huge frame but that won't last long in the NBA.

"He's got a really long wingspan and he runs the floor," Bilas said. "He's bouncy and athletic and strong."

He averaged 12.1 points and 8.1 rebounds per game at Memphis last season and shot  59% from the field in his lone college season.

It should be noted that Duren did not divulge if he met or worked out with the Spurs in the draft process.

But if defense is key, Duren fits the bill.

"He's a high-level rebounder and shot blocker," Bilas said. "He is still really young so he hasn't really learned how to play just yet."

Spurs GM Brian Wright noted the Spurs are going into the 2022 NBA Draft with a best-player-available approach.

RELATED: Spurs GM Wright says approach to NBA Draft is best player available as usual

If the 6-11 big man is on the draft board and the team passes on him, then it should not come to a surprise.

However, if the team does pick Duren, his upside is huge and could pay dividends for the Spurs down the road.

And it would not come to a shock if the Spurs were to send him to the G League's Austin Spurs to work on his offensive game before getting major minutes with San Antonio.

"All the measurable goals indicate that he's going to be really good so that's certainly a viable option," Bilas said.

Twitter: @KENS5, @JeffGSpursZone

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