DETROIT (TSWT) — The Detroit Pistons selected Purdue’s Jaden Ivey with the No. 5 overall pick in the NBA draft on Thursday night, adding desperately needed talent to a team led by Cade Cunningham.
Detroit’s rebuilding plan should get a boost with the addition of the dynamic player with scoring ability. 6-foot-4, 195-pound Ivey can play point or fullback. He averaged 17.3 points last season and hit 46% of his shots overall and 36% from beyond the 3-point arc for the Boilermakers.
The day before the draft, the Pistons agreed to trade Jerami Grant to Portland for the No. 36 overall pick this year and a first-round pick in 2025. The Olympic gold medalist was set to earn $21 million and Detroit won’t. seemed uninterested in giving him another contract to be part of his latest rebuild.
The Pistons cleared cap space with the trade, giving them about $44 million available this summer to potentially be a major player in free agency. They also lost a player, who averaged nearly 21 points over the previous two seasons.
Ivey will have the opportunity to fill some of the void left by Grant’s departure with shots set up by Cunningham, who was drafted No. 1 overall last year and was unanimously voted into the first team NBA All-Rookie.
While the Pistons made their pick last year, they may have missed out in 2020 with the selection of guard Killian Hayes 7th overall. Hayes averaged 6.8 points and 4.5 assists over two seasons.
Detroit needs Ivey to fend for itself after winning just 23 games, finishing ahead of only Houston and Orlando in the league last year.
The Pistons have only made the playoffs twice in the past 13 seasons, following an eight-year run in which they won a third NBA title, failed to repeat and qualified for six. consecutive conference finals.
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