DETROIT ( Associated Press) – Detroit Pistons select Purdue’s Jaden Ivey with the 5th overall pick in the NBA draft on Thursday night, adding much-needed talent to a team led by Cade Cunningham.
Detroit’s recovery plan needs to get a boost with the addition of a dynamic player capable of scoring. At 6’4″ and 195 pounds, Ivey can play both point guard and shooting guard. Last season, he averaged 17.3 points and shot 46% overall and 36% per three-point arc for the Boilermakers.
The day before the Pistons draft agreed to trade Jerami Grant to Portland for the 36th overall pick this year and a first-round pick in 2025. The Olympic champion was set to make $21 million and Detroit didn’t seem interested in giving him another contract to be part of his latest facelift.
With the trade, the Pistons cleared the cap, giving them about $44 million available this summer to potentially become a major player in free agency. They also lost a player who had averaged nearly 21 points over the previous two seasons.
Ivey will have an opportunity to fill some of the scoring gap left by Grant’s departure with shots created by Cunningham, who was selected last year with the first pick in the NBA draft and voted unanimously as the best rookie in the NBA. first team.
While the Pistons picked their pick last year, they may have missed the mark in 2020 by drafting defenseman Killian Hayes seventh overall. Hayes averaged 6.8 points and 4.5 assists over two seasons.
Detroit needs Ivey to work after winning just 23 games, ahead of only Houston and Orlando in the league last year.
The Pistons have made the playoffs just twice in the past 13 seasons, after an eight-year streak in which they won a third NBA title, fell short of a replay win and reached the Conference Finals six times in a row.
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