Detroit Pistons Jacked Their Athletism, NBA Drafts

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Detroit Pistons Excited To Be Faster

Troy Weaver was frank in his assessment of how successful Thursday was for the Detroit Pistons.

They came out of the 2022 NBA draft with guard Jaden Ivey, who is regarded as the best in the class, and big man Jalen Duren, who may turn out to be the best center.

Detroit Pistons Excited To Be Faster

Ivey has exceptional speed and leaping ability, and Duren is built like a brick wall and can collect and finish almost any lob from Detroit’s guards. They are both explosive athletes in their own right.

Detroit Pistons Jacked Their Athletism, NBA Drafts

The Pistons dramatically improved their talent and athleticism. Their front desk is overjoyed.

The Detroit Pistons general manager stated during an opening press conference at Rouge Park on Friday, “Throughout the process, we had around seven guys we really liked, and these two were at the top of the list.

“I’m overjoyed. I’ve slept maybe six hours in the last fourteen days, so you can’t tell, but I’m more excited than I’ve ever been.”

Given that the Pistons drafted Cade Cunningham first overall less than a year ago, that is great praise. But it emphasizes the positive aspects that Ivey and Duren offer. Their star power and inherent athleticism give Detroit a dimension it hasn’t had in a long time. 

Ben Wallace and Andre Drummond both possessed Duren-like strength and jumping ability. However, who was the last guard to be as adept at getting to the rim as Ivey?

The pieces must now come together, which is a task for head coach Dwane Casey and his staff. With the exception of Killian Hayes in 2020, Detroit has now selected a guard with their first pick three years in a row.

Detroit Pistons Excited To Be Faster

Duren’s natural position is center, where Isaiah Stewart spent the majority of last season. There will be some changes to make, but there is hope.

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To Detroit’s guard rotation, Hayes, Cunningham, and Ivey each bring their own set of abilities. Hayes may be the team’s finest natural passer and was the Pistons’ top perimeter defender last year. 

Although the rest of his game is still developing, the NBA Finals game this year demonstrated the importance of defensive-minded guards.

During the Boston Celtics‘ playoff run, Derrick White and Marcus Smart played a significant amount of minutes, and Gary Payton II was an important player for the Golden State Warriors.

BIG FUTURE: Pistons are willing to teach Jalen Duren the rest since he already possesses what cannot be taught.

The shooting of Detroit Piston’s three guards will need to get better next year. Ivey struggled with consistency at Purdue, and Cunningham only shot 31.4 percent last year. If Cunningham’s workload is reduced, this percentage should increase.

But Casey plans to experiment with a three-guard team that might benefit from Cunningham’s all-around versatility, Ivey’s ability to get downhill, and Hayes’ defense.

Pistons are willing to teach Jalen Duren the rest since he already possesses what cannot be taught.

The shooting of Detroit’s three guards will need to get better next year. Ivey struggled with consistency at Purdue, and Cunningham only shot 31.4 percent last year. If Cunningham’s workload is reduced, this percentage should increase.

But Casey plans to experiment with a three-guard team that might benefit from Cunningham’s all-around versatility, Ivey’s ability to get downhill, and Hayes’ defense.

Detroit sees potential in combining Stewart and Duren. Stewart has played power forward at various points throughout the course of his two seasons, and last year he showed that he can defend by staying in front of smaller forwards and guards.

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His versatility and improving outside shot—he was 11-for-18 on three-pointers during the Pistons’ final 18 games of the previous season—indicate that he may someday transition to the position of power forward.

Weaver characterized Stewart and Duren as “I mean, they’re different” on Thursday. “Because he is bigger, (Duren’s) his presence is comparatively more observable. Isaiah has demonstrated his ability to shoot the three while playing on the court.

They can simply have fun together. Horford and Robert Williams played together (for Boston), and now their two older children play together in Cleveland.

In neither case do I consider it to be difficult? We’re looking for two separate players, but both of them have hard hats with them.”

The Pistons can afford to experiment and exercise patience because they are still in the rebuilding phase. The youngest player in the NBA next season will be Ivey, who is 20 years old, and Duren, who won’t turn 19 until November.

They will advance the newcomers as quickly or slowly as necessary.

The Pistons will be faster and more athletic next season, though, and that much is certain. And it might make life simpler for Cunningham and the rest of the young core as well as the coaching staff.

We don’t want to put pressure on them by telling them they will immediately rule the world, according to Casey. “Yes, we will use that. Let’s start with the foundations.

We do want to play faster and make use of Jalen’s and Jaden’s floor-covering skills. There are numerous possible combinations that we can experiment with. However, we do wish to imitate them and use their advantages.”

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“I just said, “I don’t mind making mistakes; all young players do,” to them. But work hard at it. Make difficult errors. I don’t care if you miss ten shots; play aggressively and effectively, and good things will follow.

These two young men play aggressively and effectively. They play quite vigorously. That will facilitate their process of growth.”

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