With the No. 5 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, the Detroit Pistons were absolutely thrilled to land G Jaden Ivey out of Purdue but they were not done there as they ended up trading for C Jalen Duren, who was selected by the Charlotte Hornets at No. 13.
On Thursday night, Ivey and Duren made their debut in a Pistons uniform as the Pistons took on the Portland Trail Blazers in their Summer League opener.
It literally took 15 seconds for Ivey and Duren to give Pistons fans a taste of what's to come as Ivey found Duren for an alley-oop.
Ivey to Duren for the oop. YOU LOVE TO SEE IT! pic.twitter.com/TS6glI4TMW
— Woodward Heavyweights (@WHWPod) July 8, 2022
But that was not the only time the Detroit Pistons rookies connected.
Check it out.
— Detroit Pistons (@DetroitPistons) July 8, 2022
Following the game, it sounded like Ivey plans to make plays like this with Duren quite often in the future.
“He’s got great feet,” Ivey said of his teammate. “He moves well. Whenever I get an opportunity to throw a lob he’s gonna make a play.”
Detroit Pistons rookies Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren have outstanding debut
Both Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren were impressive during the Detroit Pistons' 81-78 win over the Trail Blazers.
Though Duren only played 11:56 in the game (he was on a minutes limit because he literally just signed earlier in the day), his athleticism stood out as he connected on four of his six shots, scoring nine points.
Following the game, Pistons Summer League coach Jordan Brink praised Duren.
“His athleticism is next level,” said Jordan Brink, the Pistons’ Summer League coach. “We just told him to go out there and have fun. Show off your athleticism, show off your skill. I thought he did a really good job. Tons of stuff to clean up, but that’s why we have practice tomorrow.”
That is some solid praise for Duren, who at just 18 years old was the youngest player drafted this season.
As far as Ivey goes, he was outstanding as he scored 20 points, grabbed six rebounds, and dished out three assists in his debut with the Pistons. He did have five turnovers in a team-high 32:29 minutes of action but that is something he will work on moving forward.
“My job was trying to slow down,” Ivey said. “Once I got into a rhythm the game opened up.”
“In college, I would go 100% fast all the time,” he said. “In this league, you’ve got to change speed.”
Ivey was clearly excited more about his six assists than his 20 points.
“I was finding teammates,” he said, “that’s the best feeling.”
Stay tuned, Detroit Pistons fans, this is just going to get better!