There is recent precedent for improvement from Jaden Ivey

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One of the most important decisions the Detroit Pistons have to make as a franchise is what to do with Jaden Ivey. 

Even after a disappointing season, there are many who believe Ivey is still a star in the making, a talented player who has been hampered by less-than-ideal circumstances, including a coach who couldn’t figure out how to use his skills effectively. 

There are others who believe Ivey is an inefficient guard who can’t defend and is a poor fit with Cade Cunningham. It’s still too early to know who’s right, but we may not get a chance to find out as anything could be on the table this offseason and that includes Jaden Ivey. 

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Trading him would be a risk, as there is still a chance Ivey will become a star in the NBA and there is recent precedent for it with similar players. 

D’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Maxey should give Jaden Ivey hope 

Jaden Ivey isn’t the only lighting quick guard who struggled with efficiency early in his career, as the same could be said of both D’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Maxey, who have both blossomed into stars once they found the right roles and got the right teammates around them. 

Fox didn’t make an All-Star team until he was 25 years old but is now considered one of the best scoring guards in the NBA. He didn’t start that way, as Fox, like Ivey, was inefficient in his first few seasons in the league, shooting 41 percent from the floor and just 30 percent from long range in his rookie season. Fox just kept progressively getting better each season, culminating in last year when he shot over 51 percent from the floor on his way to his first All-Star selection. 

Fox is now a high-volume shooter scoring 26 points per game, largely because he started shooting and making more 3-point shots and kept improving his efficiency around the rim. Fox shot 65 percent at the rim, 52 percent from 5-9 feet and 44 percent from 10-14 this season, while Ivey hit just 57, 40 and 32 percent of those shots, respectively. 

Like Ivey, Fox has electric quickness, but he has harnessed his and figured out how to be a weapon at the rim, something Ivey could learn from. 

Tyrese Maxey made the leap quicker than Fox, but he too struggled with efficiency his first season. It didn’t take Maxey long to figure it out, as he immediately made the leap to over 42 percent as a 3-point shooter and made his first All-Star appearance this season at age 23 as a high-volume scorer for Philly. 

All three players have games predicated on speed and beating people off the dribble, but both Fox and Maxey have figured out how to do it more efficiently. They’ve also had much better teams around them and are the primary ballhandlers, which Ivey is not. 

For Ivey to make a similar leap, he needs to be staggered more often with Cade Cunningham, allowing him to work more on the ball and hopefully make the improvements in efficiency around the rim that we’ve seen from Fox and Maxey. 

There is recent precedent for Ivey to improve, as similar players have done it, but the question is whether it will be with the Detroit Pistons or some other team.