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5 bold predictions for Jaden Ivey in his rookie season with Pistons

NBA, Pistons, Jaden Ivey

Is Jaden Ivey ready to take the wheel of the Detroit Pistons?

The Motor City lucked out by landing Ivey with the fifth pick of the 2022 NBA Draft. Many believe he was the finest prospect as early as pick No. 4, so just imagine how happy the Pistons were to find him available at No. 5.

Similar to the 2021 Draft, Troy Weaver and his team were successful in selecting the best player from their draft boards. Ivey is without a doubt this draft class’s most dynamic ball handler. The 20-year-old returned to college after a strong rookie year, where he put up a really successful sophomore campaign that raised his status among NBA clubs and solidified his position in the top tier of prospects.

On paper, it looks like he will join Detroit’s backcourt to partner up with Cade Cunningham. With those two, Pistons fans are looking at arguably their most dynamic backcourt since, dare I say it, the Bad Boy era. Isiah Thomas + Joe Dumars redux, anyone? Too far? Too soon?

Well, let’s see. There are several ways he can certainly rev up the Pistons as a rookie.

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Jaden Ivey Bold Pistons Predictions

5. Ivey becomes Detroit’s best rim attacker

On the current roster, Jaden Ivey immediately stands out for his excellent combination of strength, size, and quickness. He finishes with viciousness, especially in transition. The Purdue alum is just a complete blur on the break, whether he is carrying the ball or sprinting down the lane. The 20-year-old’s aggression and capacity for mayhem in the open floor is a welcome addition to a team that has had trouble turning fast-break opportunities into points.

Ivey’s prowess as a bully in the backcourt meshes well with his ability to drive and finish. He can go straight up at the rim or put some separation against any prospective rim protectors. His hang time ain’t bad, too. He’ll need to work on his handles and his in-between game, but once he gets those right, he’ll be pretty awesome.

4. Ivey will get a ton of free throw attempts

The Indiana native reached the free throw line about six times per game (5.8) in college. His aggressive, contact-heavy approach ought to translate into a ton of NBA free throws. Maybe pre-pandemic Harden levels? We’ll see, but if Ivey can draw a lot of fouls and shoot a heckuva ton of free throws, his offensive worth will skyrocket even more.

3. Ivey will struggle from 3

Ivey’s outside shooting is a primary area for development as he enters the NBA. He started strong in his last Purdue season, hitting close to 44.0 percent from beyond the arc. That number, however, dropped off as the season progressed. He ended his sophomore season hitting just 36.0 percent from three.

Ivey had a stellar first 21 games of the 2021-2022 season, hitting on 43.6 percent of his long-range attempts. However, during the course of his previous 15 games, the sophomore guard only managed to make 25.6 percent of his three-point attempts, which is disturbingly lower than his 25.8 percent rookie efficiency. With the caliber of defenses he will face in the NBA, he will likely shoot closer to 30.0 percent.

2. Ivey will be a very good fit in Detroit

Ivey unquestionably complements the youthful core that Troy Weaver has painstakingly built in Detroit. He will split ball-handling duties with Cunningham as a guard, and he will compete for top-scoring honors, especially with Jerami Grant gone. Needless to say, he will have so many chances to score in bunches.

In addition, Cunningham was frequently double-teamed last season, which diminished efficiency and raised turnovers. Teams won’t be able to do that so easily Cunningham as Ivey will also warrant a lot of attention. This pair’s complementary skills create an explosive backcourt that can feed off each another in many ways. They’re gonna give many coaches a lot of headaches.

1. Ivey will rin Rookie of the Year

This is the perfect situation for Ivey. He’ll get the playing time, the touches, and the opportunities he needs to fill the box scores. Ivey also has the chance to create a compelling narrative. He enters a rebuilding squad and can be one of the focal points of their inevitable rise. If they challenge for a spot in the playoffs or even in the play-in, that narrative would be highlighted even more. Rookie of the Year beckoning? You bet.