DETROIT ( Associated Press) – Detroit Pistons pick Jaden Ivey of Purdue 5 overall selection in the NBA draft on Thursday night, the Cade Cunningham-led team added much-needed talent.
Adding a dynamic player with scoring potential should give a boost to Detroit’s rebuilding plan. The 6-foot-4, 195-pound Ivey can play the role of point or shooting guard. He averaged 17.3 points last season and made 46% of his total shots and 36% beyond the 3-point arc for the Boilermakers.
The day before the draft, the Pistons Agreed to trade Jeremy Grant to Portland for a total of 36 picks this year and a first-round pick in 2025. The Olympic gold medalist was due to make $21 million and Detroit was uninterested in offering him another contract to be part of its latest rebuild.
The Pistons cleared the cap space with the business, making them about $44 million available this summer, potentially becoming a major player in free agency. They also lost a player who averaged around 21 points over the past two seasons.
Ivey will have the opportunity to fill the scoring void left by Grant’s departure with shots set up by Cunningham, who was drafted No. 1 overall last year and unanimously voted NBA All-Rookie first team.
While the Pistons hit their picks last year, they may have missed out on the number 7 spot in 2020 with guard Kilian Hayes’ selection. Hayes averaged 6.8 points and 4.5 assists over the two seasons.
Detroit needs the Ivy after winning just 23 games, finishing only ahead of Houston and Orlando in the league last year.
The Pistons have made it to the playoffs only twice in the past 13 seasons, after an eight-year run in which they won a third NBA title, won less than a repeat and advanced to six straight conference finals.
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