New Pistons Jaden Ivey, Jalen Duren toss 1st pitch at Tigers game

The Detroit Pistons took major steps towards their future success in last month’s 2022 NBA Draft, selecting 6-foot-4, 200-pound guard Jaden Ivey with the No. 5 overall selection out of Purdue; they subsequently signed him to his first professional contract earlier today. Shortly afterward, Pistons GM Troy Weaver took things a step further by acquiring Jalen Duren in a trade with Charlotte.

Ivey averaged 17.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game during his sophomore season at Purdue, while Duren averaged 12 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game during his freshman year at Memphis.

Both were on hand this afternoon at Comerica Park to toss out the ceremonial 1st pitch before the Detroit Tigers took on the Kansas City Royals; but before that, they sat down with Bally Sports Detroit host Trevor Thompson to describe the process that led them to their new professional home. Ivey began by discussing his family ties to Detroit, and they’re extensive.

Both Jalen Duren and Jaden Ivey were on hand at Comerica Park

“So, my family ties, my mom played for the Detroit Shock organization, and my dad grew up here,” he said. “My grandma still lives here, and my grandpa played for the Lions. It’s great family ties, and I’m super excited to be here and be with the Detroit Pistons organization. Each day, I’m going to cherish it all.”

Of course, Duren learned his craft under the tutelage of former Pistons coach Larry Brown, who helped lead them to the 2004 NBA championship over the heavily favored Los Angeles Lakers.

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“I have a great relationship with coach Brown, he taught me a lot in my short time in Memphis,” Duren said. “He mostly taught me what it means to be a pro, on and off the court. And on Draft Night, it was still one of the best nights of my life. I always wanted to be in Detroit since the start of the process, to be here now is a blessing for me.”

The pair were then asked what they’ll be bringing to the young Pistons roster.

“The biggest thing is to restore, we want to come in and make a big impact for this team,” Ivey said. “We want to get back to winning. We have a great young group of guys in Cade (Cunningham) and Isaiah Stewart, all the guys who want to work. Me and Jalen, we’re gonna come in and bring it our all each and every day, and cherish it and work hard.”

“It’s a great young team and we hope to add to that,” Duren added.

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