With the tenth total choose within the 2022 NBA Draft, the Wizards might need to make a tough selection between two gamers on the similar place. We’re going via these choices in a sequence of articlespersevering with with two large males who may very well be on the board at 10: Jalen Duren of Memphis and Duke’s Mark Williams.
Duren is barely 18 years outdated however not at all appears to be like or performs prefer it. He’s a strong athlete, cell and with sufficient bounce to throw down lobs and block all kinds of photographs across the rim. Duren is sufficiently big and robust sufficient to the place there will not be a lot of an adjustment to the extra bodily and athletic competitors on the NBA stage. He is obtained an NBA prepared physique and would not appear to be the kind who will again away from the problem of dealing with older, extra polished gamers.
Duren’s recreation could be very a lot centered within the paint. He’s an aggressive rim-runner, he rebounds and he blocks photographs (2.1 bpg at Memphis). He is additionally been praised for his screen-setting and, given he is constructed so robust, he’s in all probability going to be a type of gamers nobody desires to run into blindly. Duren is not a unicorn by any means, as he didn’t try a single three in faculty and would not do a lot off the dribble, however with pick-and-rolls dominating NBA offenses, there may be all the time going to be room for a middle like Duren. In that sense, and since he is fast up and down the ground, he matches into the trendy NBA, 3-point shot or not.
The hope for any group drafting Duren could be that he fulfills that position effectively initially and over time develops into one thing extra. Whereas he might not be as cell as Bam Adebayo, or Onyeka Okongwu for that matter, Adebayo did not depart Kentucky because the tremendous versatile, do-it-all large man he’s now. The Warmth noticed his potential his to be that participant and developed him into that position. Possibly an NBA group will see the identical upside for Duren.
Whereas Duren is the bodily pressure, Williams could be very tall and has nice size as a shot-blocker. And he is an excellent higher shot-blocker, the second-best on this draft class to Chet Holmgren, who was traditionally good in faculty defending the rim. Williams has Rudy Gobert-like dimensions at 7-foot-2 in footwear with a 9-foot-9 standing attain and a 7-foot-6 1/2 wingspan. That’s going to make him a large even on an NBA flooring and it is an important signal his shot-blocking his (2.8 bpg at Duke) will translate.
Williams may very well be an elite rim-protector on the subsequent stage whereas additionally providing some potential as a scorer. He additionally doesn’t have a fringe recreation to talk of, however he is pretty agile ending across the basket. He is obtained a knack for getting the ball into the rim rapidly off passes into the publish. Williams will in all probability by no means strategy averaging 20 factors per recreation, however like Gobert he may very well be a menace on that finish to an honest diploma.
Whichever group drafts Williams will achieve this primarily for his protection. An excellent situation would see him common over two-plus blocks per recreation in his prime whereas additionally reeling in double-digit rebounds. One good signal for his ceiling his could be his enchancment his as a shooter year-over-year at Duke. He shot 72.1% from the sphere final season and raised his free throw share to 72.7% from 53.7% the 12 months earlier than.
That is the hardest name of all of the Wizards Draft Choices we’ve gone via as a result of each gamers convey comparable attributes to the desk and since heart might be the Wizards’ least urgent want. Technically it’s a want as a result of they at present have a spot open behind Kristaps Porzingis and Daniel Gafford (Thomas Bryant is a free agent), however spending the tenth total choose to fill that position would imply they thought one in all these guys was the perfect participant obtainable by margin. It is attainable neither would get many minutes in any respect of their rookie season.
That stated, Duren is the higher match right here. Nearly as good as Williams may very well be as a rim-protector, Duren ‘s mobility and potential his as a screen-setter a minimum of leaves some risk he may play alongside Porzingis. And there additionally could also be a better ceiling for Duren than there may be Williams when it comes to two-way potential and flexibility. The mixture of short-term match (kind of) and long-term potential makes Duren a extra full bundle for the Wizards, given the place they’re and the route they’re heading.
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