Pistons news: Victor Wembanyama gives props to unlikely Pistons player

Jan 10, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA;  San Antonio Spurs center Victor Wembanyama (1)
Jan 10, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; San Antonio Spurs center Victor Wembanyama (1) / Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Pistons won’t be getting many accolades for the season they just finished, which was the worst the franchise has ever seen. 

That isn’t the case with rookie Victor Wembanyama, who will be taking home some individual hardware even though the Spurs also finished at the bottom of their respective conference. 

Wembanyama just completed what was arguably one of the best rookie seasons of all time, one that will certainly end in a Rookie of the Year award, first team All-Defense and possibly Defensive Player of the Year, not bad for a guy who only recently turned 20 years old. 

It takes luck to get the #1 pick in the NBA Draft, but even more to get it in a year with a generational player, which is why dropping to 5th in the last draft lottery was particularly crushing to the Detroit Pistons. 

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Detroit has some nice young talent, but let’s face it, there’s no one on the roster who has anywhere near the upside of Wembanyama. 

That includes Jaden Ivey, the 5th pick from the 2022 NBA Draft. Ivey had an up and down season that was ultimately disappointing even though he did have some big games and a nice stretch. That’s why it was surprising to hear Victor Wembanyama talk about him in a recent interview. 

Victor Wembanyama says Jaden Ivey is difficult to defend 

In a recent interview Kevin O’Connor from The Ringer, Wemby was asked all types of questions ranging from his biggest strengths and weaknesses as a defender, as well as who he thought was the most difficult player to guard. 

He named some usual suspects for a center, the obvious Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic, but then dropped a name I wasn’t expecting: Jaden Ivey. 

He said, “Jaden Ivey is super quick, so much so that even though you want to back up you can still get surprised.” 

You could tell Kevin O’ Connor was surprised by this answer, as he responded “Jaden Ivey?” 

It wasn’t a name that I was expecting to hear from a center, as it’s not like Wemby has defended Ivey one-on-one much, but it shows that Ivey’s speed is known and respected around the league. 

I have been particularly hard on Ivey, giving him a low grade for the season, but he does have obvious traits that can translate to stardom in the NBA. He also has the mentality, as Ivey hung in this season and kept working even though his coach yanked him from the starting five and his team crumbled around him down the stretch. 

So, it was nice to hear Ivey get some love, even if it is just a couple of words, as there wasn’t much coming from Pistons fans this year.