2022 NBA Draft grades: Detroit Pistons select Jaden Ivey with No. 5 overall pick

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The Detroit Pistons have selected Jaden Ivey with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Ivey has the most upside of any guard in the draft. He is an absolutely relentless athlete that should be able to blow by all but the NBA’s best defenders, but that doesn’t mean he’s a one-trick pony. Ivey shot 37 percent from behind the arc last season, and he’s perfectly capable of scoring both on or off of the ball. His mid-range game needs work, but if things go as planned over the next few years, Ivey could be one of the better scoring guards in basketball.

His playmaking will need some work at the next level if he’s going to be a point guard. He averaged just three assists per game last season, and in that sense, he might benefit from playing alongside another shot-creator. His defense has sky-high potential, but he hasn’t quite put it together yet to contribute steadily on that end of the floor. It is going to take Ivey some time to grow into the player he can be, but there’s All-Star potential in this former Boilermaker.

The Pistons picked No. 1 overall last season, and at that slot, they hit a home run with point guard Cade Cunningham. The versatile ball-handler looks like a future star and made a compelling case for Rookie of the Year a season ago, but if he’s going to help bring the Pistons back to the playoffs for the first time since 2017, he’s going to need some help.

That is especially true after the Pistons dealt stalwart forward Jerami Grant to the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday. Detroit is reportedly hoping to use that extra cap flexibility to court Suns center DeAndre Ayton, but before the draft even arrived, a team picking in the top five managed to take a step back. That put much more pressure on the Pistons to land an immediate contributor with this selection.

Whether or not Ivey can contribute right away remains to be seen, but him making it to No. 5 at all is a major win for Detroit. Ivey was widely expected to go No. 4 overall, and multiple teams tried to trade up to get him. Now the Pistons have two great young point guards to spearhead their rebuild.

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