NBA: 4 Superstar big men under 21 who will define this new era for frontcourt players

There's a new era of big men under the age of 21 that will define this new era for frontcourt players in the NBA.

Wemby has proven that he's a generational talent.
Wemby has proven that he's a generational talent. / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages
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There are four superstar big men that are making way for the next era of frontcourt players in the NBA.

There is an impressive group of players who should usher in the next era of great big men to play in the NBA. Once considered to be guard-dominated, the bigs have been letting it be known as of late that they are still very much relevant and still are considered integral pieces to a team's success.

What we used to see from prototypical big men of the past was them using brute strength, size, and force while being physical inside the paint. Then there were the big men who specialized in cleaning the glass, protecting the rim or even becoming an enforcer if the situation called for it.

But what's impressive about today's crop of big men is that they can do everything their predecessors did and more. The prototypical NBA big has evolved over the years and now comes with more finesse added to their game. Centers and forwards are now shooting the ball from long distances with ease and scoring proficiently at all three levels.

They are now averaging double-digit assist totals and are also capable of being the main ball handler on the offensive end. As a matter of fact, the past few MVP's have all been awarded to big men. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic, and Joel Embiid have won the past five MVP awards and that streak may very well continue as these four young players have shown that the next generation of NBA bigs are in great hands and that they will be ready to carry the torch when it's their time.

Here are four big men who are currently 21 years or younger who deserve to be mentioned.

Jalen Duren, Detroit Pistons

The Detroit Pistons know that they have a special player on their hands in second year player Jalen Duren. He fits the mold and embodies the "Bad Boy" mentality the team made famous back in the late 80's and early 90's.

Fans in the Motor City are hoping that Duren can bring the same intensity and excitement that former Pistons great Dennis Rodman, Rasheed Wallace, and Ben Wallace did during their careers with the team. As he has developed, Duren has gotten stronger and his improved play has allowed him to find individual success also.

Duren is currently 5th in the NBA in rebounds per game and is 1 of 12 players in the league who average double-digit points and double-digit rebounds. There are many things that he excels at like cleaning the glass, catching lobs, and having the ability to overpower his opponents with his size and strength. The record won't reflect it but his team has the potential to be among the league's best in the future if they can keep their main core intact.

Duren finds himself in an ideal situation playing alongside guards Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey. Cunningham operates out of the pick and roll effortlessly and Duren should benefit immensely from it. Not only does Duren have good hands and size but his lob radius will make it easier for the Pistons' playmakers to place him in position to score easy baskets. With 2 good guards in the Pistons backcourt, Duren won't only be just a lob threat but he will cause plenty of mismatches if he successfully switches out on the pick and roll.

Duren already possesses a decent midrange jump shot and he also has that prodigious natural feel and comprehension for the game that can't be taught.