Why the Pistons are about to lead the NBA in highlights

Purdue Boilermakers guard Jaden Ivey Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Purdue Boilermakers guard Jaden Ivey Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Cade Cunningham and the Detroit Pistons just added two new weapons in the NBA Draft in Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren.

The Pistons lacked athleticism last season, especially prior to the trade for Marvin Bagley III, as the only real above-the-rim player they had was Hamidou Diallo, who played in just 58 games.

Detroit wasn’t particularly fast or high flying, which is why they weren’t featured in many Sportscenter highlight reels last season outside of a few big moments from Cade Cunningham.

The two Pistons’ point guards averaged 19 potential assists per game combined last season, largely because their teammates couldn’t shoot, but also because they didn’t get many easy ones in transition or lobs off the pick and roll.

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But that is all about to change, as the Detroit Pistons now have two high-flying athletes to go along with guys in Cade Cunningham and Killian Hayes who know how to get them the ball.

Detroit Pistons: Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey

Ivey is the perfect fit next to Cunningham on both ends, as he gives them another shot creator and scorer on offense and a guy on defense who can take on either guard spot, allowing Cade more flexibility on the defensive end.

But Ivey is also one of the best athletes in his draft class, a guy who can jump out of the gym, as you can see from these highlights, which put together all of his dunks for the season.

Ivey also has as much end-to-end speed as anyone in the draft, and is often compared to Russell Westbrook for his ability to get downhill and finish in transition.

Add that ability to Cade’s elite passing and you have the recipe for a ton of highlight reel dunks, as we are going to see Cunningham grab rebounds and fire long outlet passes to Ivey on fast breaks, and we’ll also get treated to plenty of alley oops from Cade to Jaden and vice versa.

Killian Hayes and Jalen Duren

Duren is still just 18-years-old, so there is a high probability that he’ll be getting most of his minutes off the bench next season.

But Duren is another guy with elite athleticism and wingspan who can go up, catch lobs and finish. Consider that he didn’t even really have a real point guard at Memphis, so I am very excited to see what he can do in the pick-and-roll with a guy like Killian Hayes, who is a very good passer.

Hayes was making Tyler Cook look good on lobs, so imagine what he can do with a guy who can jump and finish like this:

Hayes will be able to just throw it to a spot above the rim and watch Duren go up and get it. This will not only help both he and Cade rack up more assists, but will hopefully lessen their turnovers, as they will now have a lob outlet to toss it up to when they get trapped in the paint.

Adding arguably the two best athletes in the draft is going to push the Pistons’ guards to a new level and lead to the Detroit Pistons being all over the highlight reels next season.

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