Pistons draft explosive Jaden Ivey with No. 5 pick


The Pistons held their ground and got their guy. Jaden Ivey is coming to Detroit.

The Pistons selected the dynamic point guard from Purdue with the fifth overall pick in Thursday night's NBA Draft. He has the talent to form an elite backcourt in Detroit alongside last year's first overall pick Cade Cunningham.

"This was the best player available at No. 5," said ESPN's Jay Bilas after the pick was announced. "I don't think there's much question about it. Jaden Ivey is the best athlete in this draft. Troy Weaver likes athleticism, Jaden Ivey's got it."

Ivey was considered one of the top four players on the board, but dropped to Detroit after making it clear he didn't want to land with the Kings, who picked Keegan Murray at No. 4. He averaged 17.3 points per game last season on his way to being named a consensus All-American and said before the draft he models his game after Ja Morant.

"His speed is remarkable in the open floor," said Bilas. "He can change speeds, but he's got a gear that very few other players have. It's Ja Morant-type speed and explosiveness with Dwyane Wade-type length."

ESPN's Kendrick Perkins echoed that thought, saying Ivey "has Ja Morant written all over him."

"You talk about an athletic, dynamic guard who can get to the basket and finish above the rim, a guy that's really shifty with the basketball. And he will punch it to you and let you know about," said Perkins. "I love that about the kid."

Asked about playing alongside Cade Cunningham, Ivey said this week, "Part of my game that a lot of people don’t see is that I can play off the ball, too. I feel like I can complement Cade just with his ability to score the ball. I could play off the ball and just read how the offense is going.

"Obviously I could be a lead guard, but I’m a baller, so if you need me on the ball, if you need me off the ball, whatever it is to help the team win I can do."