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.
Jaden Ivey worked out for the Magic and Pistons during the pre-draft process.— Evan Sidery (@esidery) June 20, 2022
“I never really made the decision on not talking to Sacramento,” Ivey said. “It just kind of happened.”
Jaden Ivey on not talking to the Kings:— Evan Sidery (@esidery) June 20, 2022
“I never really made the decision on not talking to Sacramento. It just kinda 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.
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.
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.”
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?
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