There was a lot of heartburn when the Detroit Pistons traded Jerami Grant for a future first-round pick, especially when rumors swirled that Grant could net the team a mid-lottery pick during of the 2022 NBA Draft.
In fact, the Grant trade left most of us scratching our heads and looking for something positive to say.
Turns out we just needed to be patient and trust Troy Weaver.
So the Pistons essentially traded Jerami Grant for the 13th pick (Jalen Duren), a 10-pick 2nd-round trade upgrade tonight and Kemba Walker (owed 9 million in the final year of his contract)
— John Niyo (@JohnNiyo) June 24, 2022
It’s sometimes hard to follow the bottom line of NBA trades, especially when Troy Weaver is involved, but essentially the Pistons traded Grant for Jalen Duren, and moved up 10 spots in the second round. The Pistons also face Kemba Walker and his expiring contract.
Not bad Troy, not bad at all.
Even though Grant doesn’t quite fit Detroit’s timeline, it’s hard to pass a player with his talents. The man is an Olympic gold medalist, proving he can play with the best of the best, and he was unquestionably one of the best players for the Pistons over the past two years.
Still, it’s hard to look at the net impact of the Grant trade (as it currently stands) and not be excited about the return.
What we know about Jalen Duren is that he is a former No. 1 overall rookie. We also know that it is someone Troy Weaver covetedand with Weaver’s track record to identify significant talent.
At 6-foot-11 and 250 pounds with a wingspan of 7-foot-5.5, we also know Duren is a prototypical height for a rim protector. Duren’s 2.1 blocks per game and 3.3 per 40 minutes confirm that.
Duren also excels as an offensive rebounder (3.0 offensive rebounds per game) and as a lob threat, bringing a level of physicality to the front court that this current version of the Pistons has sorely lacked.
Best of all, Duren doesn’t need elaborate plays for him to make his impact felt, and we’ve witnessed the impact Cade Cunningham has on the floor when paired with a lop threat presence and vice versa.
Overall, Duren ticks all the boxes from a talent and form perspective.
Talent and form aside, it’s no secret that the Pistons are interested in signing Deandre Ayton in free agency.
Duren also figures as a great insurance policy for Detroit, should it lose the Deandre Ayton contest. Duren’s drafting isn’t stopping the Pistons from signing Ayton, either. Without knowing the free agency outcome, Duren thinks he’s a rotational player from day one, and while they’re not preferred, the Pistons could opt to play Duren and Ayton together in streaks.
For the most part, Duren should play meaningful minutes when Ayton is off the field, if the Pistons end up landing Ayton’s serves.
Regardless of what happens in free agency, Duren is a perfect fit for the Pistons and fans should be excited.