Detroit Pistons fans prefer Jaden Ivey at No. 5 overall, Twitter poll finds

Detroit Free Press

Let Twitter tell it, Detroit Pistons fans want Jaden Ivey.

Ivey, an explosive guard out of Purdue, was the most popular option in a social media poll gauging who fans wanted the Pistons to take with the No. 5 pick in the 2022 NBA draft. He won 46.3% of the 397 votes from Monday to Tuesday, compared to 33.5% for Shaedon Sharpe, 16.9% for Keegan Murray and 3.3% for Bennedict Mathurin/another player.

The results aren’t too surprising. In the aftermath of the Pistons “winning” the fifth pick (the team had the third-worst record) in the NBA lottery, fans took to Twitter to cope. While some lamented the Pistons’ slide in the draft order, others spoke glowingly of drafting Ivey.

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He averaged 17.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 35.8% from 3-point range as a sophomore before declaring for the draft. Ivey was also the most popular pick among national sportswriters who dropped mocks, with ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo predicting Ivey to the Pistons. The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie has Detroit picking Sharpe and SB Nation’s Ricky O’Donnell went with Adrian “AJ” Griffin of Duke.

At 6-foot-4, Ivey has plus size at the point guard position or could slide to shooting guard alongside Cade Cunningham. He’s best at attacking the rim, sporting a quick first step and impressive vertical leap, and has improved his shooting (he shot 25.8% from 3 as a freshman).

Sharpe, who committed to Kentucky but never played for the Wildcats before declaring for the draft, was the second-most popular selection in the poll. The touted Canadian  prospect stands 6-5¼ with shoes and sports a 6-11½ wingspan.

Our Omari Sankofa II had Murray going fourth to the Sacramento Kings before the Pistons select Sharpe.

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Several players have skipped NCAA competition before heading to the NBA, but most of them, like LaMelo Ball or Brian Bowen, opted to play internationally. Mitchell Robinson took a year off post-high school to train independently before he was a second-round pick (he was a McDonald’s All-American and had committed to Western Kentucky) and Darius Bazley went from McDonald’s All-American to Syracuse commit to G League commit to training on his own and becoming a first-round pick in 2019.

Murray was a solid freshman for Iowa before exploding as a sophomore. He was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team after averaging 7.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. He tripled his scoring output while nearly doubling the other two categories in his second season: 23.5 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game.  Murray is also an explosive athlete and shows great toughness and timing around the rim at 6-8 and 225 pounds.

He shot 39.8% from 3-point range as well in 2021-22.

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Another Canadian projected to go in the top half or middle of the lottery, Mathurin was a second-team All-American last year and the Pac-12 Player of the Year as a sophomore at Arizona. He wasn’t quite the surprise that Murray was — before putting up 17.7 points per game on 45% from the field and 36.9% from 3, he averaged 10.7 points per game on 47.1% from the field and 41.8% from 3. Mathurin, at 6-6, 210, projects as a shooting guard or small forward with an advanced outside shot.

Freshman forwards Chet Holmgren of Gonzaga, Paolo Banchero of Duke and Jabari Smith of Auburn are projected to be the top-three picks. Jalen Duren, a freshman big who played at Memphis, and Griffin, a forward, could also be in the mix at No. 5.

Duren started slow but ended the season averaging 12 points and 8.1 rebounds while flashing elite footwork and solid ball-handling for a 6-11 post. Griffin is an NBA legacy and versatile wing, standing 6-6 with a 7-foot wingspan. He should bring defensive intensity and strong shooting wherever he lands.

The Pistons (23-59) also have the 46th pick in the draft, which is June 23 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The Orlando Magic will pick first, followed by the Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings then Pistons.

Follow the Free Press on Facebook and Twitter for more news. Tyler Davis can be contacted at or on Twitter @TDavisFreep.

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