The Detroit Pistons stormed the NBA Draft and concluded the night with two lottery picks in No. 5 Jaden Ivey and No. 13 Jalen Duren, as well as second-rounder No. 36 Gabriele Procida.
The Pistons accomplished this with a combination of aggression and patience. First, they handled Jerami Grant in a deal that had left fans confused on Wednesday. In the deal, general manager Troy Weaver obtained a low first-round pick in 2025 but was also allowed to send Grant without taking any salary in return. Check out the top new sports books for betting on the NBA.
That deal was reportedly essential because Weaver could take advantage of New York’s desperation to get Jalen Brunson and take on Kemba Walker’s contract as well as the low-first from the Grant deal and flip it for the 13th pick, where they grabbed one of their favorite, Jalen Duren.
It took a little more time to acquire Ivey since so many people wanted to move up to take Ivey and the Sacramento Kings made a big deal about being willing to trade the pick. At the same time, it was widely assumed that the guy they were most interested in drafting was Keegan Murray.
Another aspect of the Grant trade was moving up 10 spots in the second round, which they utilized to choose highly regarded foreign talent Gabriele Procida, a 6-foot-6, an athletic 20-year-old wing with a sweet stroke.
The draft selection was universally praised by Pistons fans and evaluators. Many had Ivey near the top of their selection boards, and there is still unknown quality regarding Duren.
Duren, who was 6 feet 8 when he was 13, has dominated basketball courts since he was old enough to shoot. As a junior, he transferred to Montverde Academy in Florida after thriving at Roman Catholic High in his hometown of Philadelphia, where he was named to the MaxPreps Freshman All-American team.
According to 247 Sports, Duren was the nation’s No. 6 player and No. 2 center at the age of 17. As he reclassified to the class of 2021 before starting at Memphis, he was named the 2020-21 MaxPreps Florida High School Basketball Player of the Year.
“I wouldn’t call it rushing or hurrying; every move I made, I always made because it was best for me,” Duren said on Friday, shortly after he and Jaden Ivey were introduced as the newest Pistons.
“I’m definitely ready to be here, embrace the organization, embrace the city, and I’m ready to get started,” he continued.
In college, he was named the AAC Freshman of the Year after averaging 12 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game while shooting 59.7 percent from the field.
While Detroit has great hopes for the second of two 2022 first-round picks, coach Dwayne Casey said the worst thing he could do is push Duren or overwhelm him. Check out the top sports betting sites.
“(Jaden and Jalen) are going to get tired of me saying it, ‘Old coach Casey always talks about fundamentals, two hands on the ball, pivot off two (feet),’ but that’s what’s going to make them better,” Casey said.
“When you have young players, the athleticism is there, the jumping, the quickness is there, but then how do you teach them the fundamentals? By being in school one year, it’s not their fault or the coaches’ fault. It’s just, you need the time to teach them.”
Duren will handle the paint on offense with Marvin Bagley Jr. or Isaiah Stewart. It’s part of Casey’s plan for the draft’s youngest player.
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