Draft prospect Jaden Ivey says he would like to play for Detroit Pistons

Ivey says he would prefer to return to a place with roots and familiarity

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MARCH 20: Jaden Ivey #23 and Eric Hunter Jr. #2 of the Purdue Boilermakers celebrate as time expires and the Purdue Boilermakers defeat the Texas Longhorns 81-71 in the second round of the 2022 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Fiserv Forum on March 20, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) (Stacy Revere, 2022 Getty Images)

DETROIT – The 2022 NBA Draft is Thursday, and prospect Jaden Ivey says he wants to come to Detroit and play for the Pistons.

Multiple sources have reported Ivey would prefer not to take his talents to Sacramento. Reports say Ivey informed the Kings, who have the No. 4 pick, that he does not want to play for their organization because they already have many guards.

He says he would prefer to return to a place with roots and familiarity.

During a recent interview, Ivey was asked if there were any specific teams he’d be a good fit for. He said in the interview that he would like to go anywhere, but if he had to choose, it would be Detroit, the team with the fifth pick in the draft.

Ivey mentioned his mom played for the WNBA’s Detroit Shock and talked about how he lived in the area, so he knows what it’s like, and it could be an option.

It was also reported that Ivey said during a pre-draft Zoom call that he only worked out for two teams: the Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons.

“I never really made the decision on not talking to Sacramento,” Ivey said. “It just kind of happened.”

Ivey’s desire to suit up in the Pistons’ red, white, and blue (and sometimes the Grant Hill teal and or burgundy with the horse logo) is quite a quagmire for basketball fans as to why someone would purposely select the Motor City.

But the decision comes because his mother, Niele Ivey, played for the Shock in 2005.

SOUTH BEND, IN - MARCH 04: Notre Dame Fighting Irish assistant coach Niele Ivey seen on the sidelines during the game against the Connecticut Huskies at Purcel Pavilion on March 4, 2013 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Connecticut 96-87 in triple overtime to win the Big East regular season title. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) (2013 Michael Hickey)

Jaden’s father, Javin Edward was born in Detroit and attended Detroit Country Day High School before playing wide receiver in the NFL for the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers in the 2000s.

His late grandfather, James Hunter, played at Grambling State under coach Eddie Robinson, who developed him into the 10th pick of the 1976 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions.

Former NBA draft analyst Mike Schmitz has compared Jaden Ivey to former NBA Rookie of the Year guard Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies.

Schmitz says Ivey has a Russell Westbrook body frame with the burst of Morant.

Los Angeles Lakers' Russell Westbrook shouts to fans before the team's NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Ivey spoke on those comparisons.

“I see a lot of Ja Morant in my game,” he said. “Obviously, he’s a person I know, and I admire his game. I see a lot of Dwyane Wade flashes, as I definitely watched a lot of him and Russell Westbrook. I just try to show flashes of all of those players. I think those are great comparisons. You can be talented, but having that dog in you is the biggest thing.”

FILE - In this March 4, 2020, file photo, Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) attempts a dunk as Brooklyn Nets forward Wilson Chandler (21) and guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (9) watch during the second half of an NBA basketball game in New York. Morant was announced Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, as the winner of the Rookie of the Year award for 2019-20, the first Grizzlies player to win the award since Pau Gasol in 2001-02. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Ivey’s game and toughness scream Detroit Bad Boys. As he said, the city was and is built on toughness, and having that dog mentality goes a long way -- just ask Blake Griffin whenever he returns to Little Caesars Arena.

The way the situation is lining up seems perfect.

Some people have been comparing Ivey to Morant at nausea, but did you know during the 2019-20 season, Ivey’s mother coached Morant during his rookie season?

Ivey told NBA TV how he learned and gained so much from his mother.

“I learned a lot just from her being in college and from her being an assistant coach for a couple of years and just seeing the little things that she did,” he said. “I watched her watching film on players a lot and then transitioning to the NBA; I just saw the work that she did with the players, whether that was passing and just telling them some detail or critiquing a move, I got to see all of that. From there on, I was able to understand the game a little better. Just being in her presence and just being in the gym with her it’s made me a better player as well.”

At Purdue, during the 2021-22 season, Ivey averaged 17.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game on 46% shooing from the field. Those numbers earned him 2022 Consensus 2nd Team All-American honors.

Those numbers, combined with his toughness and tenacity, are what the Pistons need to continue their climb back to relevancy, at least in the Eastern Conference.

The fifth pick gives the Pistons a lot of flexibility. The key building block was selected last year, with the selection of Cade Cunningham.

Do you like the fit and the return of the prodigal son?

If the stars align and Ivey is still on the board at five, would you like the Pistons to draft him, select someone else, or trade the pick?

What are your thoughts?

More news: Pistons trade Jerami Grant to Portland for 2025 first-round pick

About the Author:

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.