Detroit Pistons: How the rookies will help Cade Cunningham
The Pistons got a huge boost of athleticism when they added Ivey and Duren who were two of the most athletic players in the draft. The Pistons are going to be a lot faster and play much more above the rim than they did last season, which should help Cade Cunningham thrive.
It’s hard to say if Duren will play right away next season. He definitely looked ahead of schedule on the offensive end, as he was moving well, setting quality screens and getting in position for lobs.
But he needs some polish on the defensive end and on the boards, where he will have to rely more on technique and hustle rather than just being the biggest player on the floor.
Duren probably won’t be a starter right away, and may not even be in the rotation to start the season, but he is going to help Cade before his rookie year is complete.
Like Noel, Duren’s shot blocking will provide some backup for the guards on defense, but I think his biggest impact on Cade Cunningham will be in transition and in the pick-and-roll.
Duren runs the floor well for someone his size and his going to make himself available for lobs that will get Cade some easy assists.
Same in the pick-and-roll, where teams are going to have to choose their poison and either go over the screen to stop Cade’s shooting or go under it to try and stop Duren rolling to the hoop, where he is a real threat.
Cunningham didn’t really have that last season, as Isaiah Stewart is not a good roll man and doesn’t have the size to go up and get the ball like Duren does.
Duren’s presence alone will get Cade Cunningham more open shots and some easy assists on lobs when teams try to sell out to stop Cade’s shooting.
Of these four players, I think Ivey is going to help Cade the most. He will take some of the pressure off Cade to be the sole playmaker on offense, as Ivey is going to play plenty on the ball and has an electric first step that defenses are going to react to.
Ivey is going to get the attention of defenses, which should lead to more wide-open shots for Cade, something he didn’t get a lot of last season when he pretty much had to create for himself and often had two or three guys on him.
Ivey is going to make it tough to double team Cade Cunningham, and is going to get him a lot of open shots.
Like Duren, Ivey is also going to fly around in transition, giving Cade an outlet for passes off rebounds, something he loves to do. Cade can now crash the boards while Ivey takes off, giving Cade a few more easy assists on run outs.
Ivey’s gravity and speed are going to attract defenses away from Cade and the two should be able to play off each other’s strengths and make each other better.
Ivey will also benefit Cade on defense, as he is an underrated defender who can take on the quicker of the two guards so that Cunningham isn’t always stuck defending the other teams’ point guard.
This could be the next great Pistons’ backcourt and Cade is going to benefit greatly from the addition of Jaden Ivey.