Detroit Pistons NBA Draft Picks, Needs, Targets: Jaden Ivey or Keegan Murray at No. 5?

Detroit could not come away with its second-straight No. 1 overall pick after dropping to fifth during the NBA Draft Lottery. Still, there will be plenty of talented prospects that the Pistons can select with the fifth pick, putting them one step closer to relevancy in a competitive Eastern Conference. Anything can happen on draft night, so there is a possibility that Jabari Smith, Paolo Banchero, or Chet Holmgren fall to the Pistons; however, we will be evaluating the potential fit of the rest of the prospects in Detroit below.

Detroit Pistons Draft Picks

  • 1 (5)
  • 2 (46)

Detroit Pistons Draft Needs

Detroit will be looking at many different options with the fifth pick, including Jaden Ivey, Shaedon Sharpe, Keegan Murray, Benn Mathurin, and Dyson Daniels. There’s a strong likelihood that all or most of those players will be available when it is their time to draft. The Pistons have a lot of holes to fill in their roster, but I believe that drafting an off-guard to go with Cade Cunningham is the correct move. Plenty of forwards or bigs should be available in the second round, so grabbing Ivey, Sharpe, Mathurin, or Daniels is imperative at No. 5. Cunningham can score effectively but also really prospers as a playmaker for others. Mathurin, Sharpe, and Ivey are all great options for needing an aggressive, scoring off guard.

Detroit Pistons Draft Targets

  • Jaden Ivey

If Jaden Ivey somehow makes it past Sacramento at No. 4, or whoever might trade up with the Kings to grab him there, Detroit should pull the trigger. Ivey is a big-time, explosive athlete in the vein of John Wall and Ja Morant, with even more shooting upside. Considering that Cade Cunningham is more of a playmaker and lead guard, Ivey would fit in perfectly next to him.

  • Keegan Murray

There’s a distinct possibility that Ivey is gone by the time Detroit is on the clock, and if that happens, Murray becomes an auto-pick. Murray finished a phenomenal sophomore year, flashing his superb scoring prowess from all three levels at 6-foot-8! He has even shown the ability to hit threes off of movement and significantly improved his ball-handling between his freshman and sophomore seasons. Murray would be the perfect frontcourt complement to Cade Cunningham.

  • Trevion Williams

Williams is the most intriguing prospect in the 40-50 range because he has some guard skills as a big man. He was severely underutilized at Purdue this past year as head coach Matt Painter frequently brought him off the bench; however, he is a tremendous passer and a solid ball-handler who can take other bigs off the dribble if Detroit likes the idea of snagging a small-ball five who can bang down low with other centers in the league. He would not give up too much in terms of length and size with his 7-foot-3 wingspan.

Recent Detroit Pistons Draft Picks & Tendencies

  • 2021: Cade Cunningham – 1st Overall
  • 2020: Killian Hayes – 7th Overall
  • 2019: Sekou Doumbouya – 15th Overall
  • 2017: Luke Kennard – 12th Overall
  • 2016: Henry Ellenson – 18th Overall
  • 2015: Stanley Johnson – 8th Overall
  • 2013: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – 8th Overall
  • 2012: Andre Drummond – 9th Overall

The Pistons are yet another team in the lottery that hasn’t drafted all that well in recent years and, when they did, have been unable to retain the talent. Not many teams towards the top of the lottery have been very effective in the draft, and Detroit adds to that list. To be fair, up until last year, Detroit had been stuck between seventh and eighteenth for many years. Luckily, the Pistons secured Cade Cunningham with the first overall pick; he should work out long-term for them as long as he stays healthy and keeps improving.

Drew is a lead NBA writer at Lineups.com where he has been covering in-season basketball coverage to the NBA Draft. He is a former collegiate player who now spends time diving into NBA prospects and evaluating the analytics of the NBA.

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