DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Pistons selected Purdue’s Jaden Ivey as the No. 5 overall pick in Thursday night’s NBA draft, adding much-needed talent to a team led by Cade Cunningham.
Detroit’s rebuilding plan should get a boost with the addition of the dynamic scoring player. The 6-foot-4, 195-pound Ivey can play point or shooting guard. He averaged 17.3 points last season and made 46% of his shots overall and 36% past the 3-point arc for the Boilermakers.
The day before the draft, the Pistons agreed to trade Jerami Grant to Portland for this year’s No. 36 roster and a 2025 first round. The Olympic gold medalist was set to make $21 million and Detroit appeared not to. interested in giving him another contract to be part of the latest rebuild.
The Pistons freed up space with the trade, giving them about $44 million this summer to potentially become a major player in free agency. They also lost a player, who averaged nearly 21 points over the past two seasons.
Ivey gets a chance to fill some of the void in the score left by Grant’s departure with shots drafted by Cunningham, who was drafted as No. 1 overall last year and was voted unanimously to the NBA All-Rookie first team.
While the Pistons made their pick last year, they may have missed out in 2020 with the roster of guard Killian Hayes at number 7 overall. Hayes has averaged 6.8 points and 4.5 assists over two seasons.
Detroit needs Ivey to excel after winning just 23 games, finishing only ahead of Houston and Orlando in the league last year.
The Pistons have made only two playoffs in the past 13 seasons, after an eight-year run that saw them win a third NBA title, fail a repeat win and advance to six consecutive conference finals.
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