When the Detroit Pistons drafted Jaden Ivey with the 5th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, they hope to have completed their backcourt of the future.
Predicting the future is a fool’s errand, so it’s hard to say which rookie from the 2022 class will eventually be the best one.
Ivey will share the backcourt with Cade Cunningham and some are predicting that the next All-Star backcourt is already in Detroit.
The 2022 NBA Draft didn’t have a clear-cut favorite, as rumors had the Orlando Magic taking Jabari Smith with the first pick right up to the point when they chose Paolo Banchero instead.
Smith fell to 3rd after OKC took Chet Holmgren, and the Kings hopefully did the Pistons a favor by grabbing forward Keegan Murray 4th, allowing Jaden Ivey to fall to Detroit. Any of these players (or someone else) could be the best player from this class, so predicting which one is truly a guess at this point.
But that’s exactly what a group of 15 coaches, scouts and executives did in a recent ESPN Poll when asked which current rookie will be the best player in five years. Cunningham may have been overlooked in one survey question, but Ivey got some love from this group of NBA insiders.
Detroit Pistons: Jaden Ivey in five years
The results of the question, “Who will be the best rookie in five years?” show just how diverse opinions are on this draft class and how quickly things can change.
Paolo Banchero and Chet Holmgren received six votes each, while Jaden Ivey got two votes and Keegan Murray just one.
This is interesting, as I think these results might have been much different a few months ago when most agreed that Jabari Smith was going to go number one overall. Now that Banchero went first, perceptions of him have changed.
He was undoubtedly helped by Holmgren’s injury, as Chet might have gotten the majority of the votes after he looked outstanding in Summer League.
But two from the group picked Ivey, with one executive from the Eastern Conference saying:
"“It’s a guard league. He’s going to be on a good, young team with a lot of young, good guys around him,” an East executive said. “I think he’s got a chance to be really good [with] a great platform to build off.”"
I don’t know if I agree that it’s a guard’s league, as only four of the last 10 MVP awards have gone to guards, but teams definitely need strong perimeter play to have a chance in the modern NBA.
I do agree with the rest though, as the Detroit Pistons arguably have the best young core of any of the bad teams, and Ivey is joining a situation in which he should be able to thrive alongside Cade Cunningham.
Detroit has a coach in Dwane Casey who is known for developing young players, he has an up-and-coming group around him and I agree that he could be the best player from his class in five years time, especially when you consider Holmgren’s injury and the fact that Paolo Banchero is just 19-years-old.
Ivey should get the chance to shine both on and off the ball playing with Cade, and has as much defensive potential as anyone in the top-five.
My completely biased homer take on this is that Ivey not only has the skill, but the mentality and the chip on his shoulder to achieve greatness and that in five years, four other teams are going to regret passing on him in the draft.