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Pistons select Jaden Ivey with No. 5 pick in NBA Draft

Nolan Bianchi, The Detroit News on

Published in Basketball

Cade Cunningham has a new sidekick.

The Detroit Pistons added to their young core by drafting Purdue guard Jaden Ivey with the No. 5 pick in Thursday night's NBA Draft at Barclays Center in New York.

Ivey, 20, is a 6-foot-4, 200-pound guard with elite athleticism that can get to the rack. He averaged 17.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists during his sophomore season at Purdue and was named both a consensus All-American and All-Big Ten.

Ivey is a native of South Bend, Ind. During a pre-draft media session, Ivey said that he paid a lot of attention to the Pistons last season because of "the pieces they have, young talent," and would fit in well alongside Cunningham.

"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 play off the ball or on the ball, and I feel like I could complement Cade a little bit, just with his ability to score the ball," Ivey said.

The pick ends weeks of preparation by the Pistons' front office and weeks of speculation of what general manager Troy Weaver would do with the pick. The Pistons had the third-worst record entering the draft lottery, but they fell three spots to No. 5.

 

Ivey is the fifth first-round pick to be drafted by the Pistons in Weaver's tenure, including Cunningham at No. 1 overall last season. It's the first time the Pistons have had the No. 5 overall in franchise history, and the pairing with Cunningham and the young group that includes Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart and Killian Hayes could be another key piece to their rebuild after a 23-59 season.

The Pistons also have a second-round pick, No. 36 overall, after Wednesday's trade with the Portland Trail Blazers, which yielded a pick swap that allowed Detroit to move up from No. 46.

Duke's Paolo Banchero was drafted No. 1 by the Orlando Magic, Gonzaga's Chet Holmgren No. 2 by the Oklahoma City Thunder, Auburn's Jabari Smith No. 3 by the Houston Rockets and Iowa's Keegan Murray No. 4 by the Sacramento Kings.

Earlier in the day, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the order of Smith-Holmgren-Banchero was growing "increasingly firm," but the Magic shook things up with the selection of Banchero at first overall.

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