The Detroit Pistons have the 5th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft and are fine-tuning their big board for the big day, which is now just a week away.
It has been widely speculated that Detroit’s choice is coming down to four prospects, Jaden Ivey, Keegan Murray, Shaedon Sharpe or Bennedict Mathurin, with plenty of argument about who it should be.
Some like the explosive athleticism of Ivey, the high-ceiling potential of Sharpe, the all-around game of Murray or the shooting and defense of Mathurin.
In the end, Troy Weaver and the Pistons are going to use all the data they can get their hands on, and two of these four prospects have some connections to Detroit that could be a deciding factor if everything else is equal.
The Detroit Pistons are not a top free-agent destination (yet) so finding players who actually want to be in Detroit is imperative.
Cade Cunningham has set the tone by embracing the culture of Detroit, as well as the roots of Detroit basketball and the “Us vs. Everybody” mentality.
It’s possible that the Pistons will end up with another guy who sees Detroit as an attractive destination.
Pistons draft: 2 players with ties to Detroit
Keegan Murray is the guy that most gambling sites believe the Detroit Pistons are going to pick. During the pre-draft process, Murray revealed that he goes to Michigan every year, as his father is from Battle Creek, just a two hour drive from Detroit.
Murray’s father Kenyon was also a basketball player and won Mr. Basketball for Battle Creek Central High School before going on to have a productive four-year career at Iowa and eventually becoming a coach there. Keegan followed in his footsteps to Iowa, and I am sure his father would be elated if his son ended up playing for his home state of Michigan.
Ivey is another guy who has been connected to the Pistons and many believe he will be the choice if he is still there when Detroit makes their pick.
Ivey also has ties to Detroit, and even went as far as to name Detroit as one of his preferred destinations in a recent interview.
Ivey’s mother Niele Ivey, who is the current head coach of Notre Dame’s women’s team, used to play for the Detroit Shock and Ivey said that he is very familiar with the city and likes what it has to offer.
The fit is there for both of these players and one thing I really like about both as prospects is that they are smart players whose parents were coaches, which means they grew up with basketball in their blood, breathing the fundamentals of the game.
It’s very likely that one of these two players ends up on the Detroit Pistons, and both have ties that make them even better fits.