Detroit Pistons prepared to make historical draft pick

Ryan Turell takes a shot in the first period.
Ryan Turell takes a shot in the first period. /

The G League will be conducting its own draft on October 22 and the Detroit Pistons are reportedly going to make what could be a historic pick for its affiliate, the Motor City Cruise. That would be the selection of Yeshiva University’s Ryan Turell.

The NBA is known for the diverse background of its players as basketball is a universal sport.. The Detroit Pistons currently have three players from foreign countries: Bojan Bogdanovic (Bosnia), Killian Hayes (France) and Cory Joseph (Canada).

In the United States, players come from various backgrounds and sections of the country. However, in the history of the NBA (which is now 76 years) one group has never been represented: Orthodox Jews.

However, that might soon change, according to Marc Stein.

Ryan Turell, a 6-foot-7 wing, led NCAA Division III in scoring last season, with a 27.3 points average. He helped Yeshiva, a Jewish college in New York City, to a 50-game winning streak and, at one point, the No. 1 ranking in the country.

Turell could have went to Army, a Division I program, but opted to attend a Jewish college.

Of course, being Orthodox, presents some situations other players do not deal with.

During Shabbat, sundown Friday to sundown Saturday), Jews are not suppose to be working. While that did not present a problem at Yeshiva, where no activities were scheduled during that time, NBA and G League teams do, at times, have games then.

That restriction hampered the career of the last well-known orthodox player, Tamir Goodman. Known as the ‘Jewish Jordan’ has lack of availability on Friday night and during the day Saturday ended up costing him at the University of Maryland.

Reportedly, Turell will play during the Sabbath, but will not travel on those days.

Obviously, the Pistons organization, is fully aware of Turell’s restrictions due to his religious beliefs and are willing to draft him.

What is Ryan Turell’s game and how could it help the Detroit Pistons?

He is obviously a scorer and shot an amazing 44.9% from three-point range in his four years with the Maccabees.

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Now, Division III basketball is far cry from the level of play Turell would face in the G League, let alone the NBA. However, Turell did play in the Portsmouth Invitational, a showcase for potential NBA draftees, and did well, averaging 12.7 points and shooting 38.1-percent on three-pointers.

He was also invited to the G League Elite Showcase but could not participate due to injury,

If Turell continues to score and shoot well on three-pointers, does he have a chance to move up to the Pistons? Absolutely. Detroit is looking for players who can space the floor, making things easier for Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey to maneuver. They do not have a lot of them at the moment.

If it occured, getting to play for the Pistons would most likely not occur until after the February trade deadline, as Detroit’s roster is currently full.

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Turell had offers to play professionally in Israel, but his dream is to play in the NBA, which can be more easily accomplished in the G League.

Kudos to Turell for following his dream, and to the Pistons organizations, for making the  commitment to allowing him to do so.