Jaden Ivey

Pistons Notes: Ivey, Cunningham, Bogdanovic, Duren, Lineups

The Pistons have lost six of their last seven games but the last two outings have been encouraging. They snapped a five-game losing streak by defeating defending champion Golden State on Sunday and lost on the road to Milwaukee by two points on Monday.

Jaden Ivey, the fifth pick in the draft, has scored in double digits in every game he’s played, including a combined 34 points the last two nights. Backcourt partner Cade Cunningham notched a total of 50 points, 16 rebounds and 16 assists in those two games.

“It’s a confidence builder for a young group, for a kid like Ivey and we keep forgetting Cade’s in year two, for those guys to understand what it takes to beat great teams like we’ve played the last couple nights,” coach Dwane Casey said during Monday’s postgame press conference.

We have more on the Pistons:

  • When Bojan Bogdanovic was acquired from Utah just before training camp, many people speculated he’d be flipped this season for assets. That could still happen but it seems less likely after he signed a two-year extension, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com writes. Having a veteran like Bogdanovic has been a boon to an otherwise green starting group, and his deal looks quite reasonable compared to recent extensions given to other veterans around the league with the salary cap expected to significantly rise.
  • Rookie center Jalen Duren is grateful 21-year-old Isaiah Stewart has taken him under his wing, he told Sam Yip of HoopsHype. “It means a lot, because I came in kind of with the same mentality, just team success,” he said. “However we can do that I’m all for. So, for me coming in, of course, playing the same position as Isaiah and him already being there, you know, just welcoming me with open arms was huge.” Duren missed Monday’s game with a left ankle sprain but could rejoin the team for its next game at Milwaukee on Wednesday, Mike Curtis of Detroit News tweets.
  • Nerlens Noel made his Pistons debut on Monday, though Marvin Bagley III is still sidelined by a knee injury. When all of Detroit’s frontcourt pieces are healthy, Casey may utilize bigger lineups, according to Curtis. Casey has been hesitant to play Duren and Stewart together because he didn’t want either of them to get into foul trouble.

Pistons Notes: Bogdanovic, Casey, Cunningham, Ivey

Bojan Bogdanovic is 33 years old and entering a contract year with the rebuilding Pistons, but he still may have a future with the team, writes Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. After being acquired from the Jazz last month, Bogdanovic has made an immediate impact as both a player and a veteran leader, and coach Dwane Casey hopes he’ll be re-signed next summer.

“I’d love to have him back,” Casey replied. “He’s a free agent. Hopefully, he has a good experience with us and finds a good home with us. Everybody needs a guy like that who knows how to play and can shoot the ball. Hopefully, we can entice him to stay. If he doesn’t, he helps us, and we help him. He’s a pro. He’ll have a big role for us this year.”

Utah had serious trade talks with multiple teams before reaching a deal with Detroit. Sources tell Scotto that the Suns discussed offering Jae Crowder, Dario Saric and draft compensation, and the Lakers discussed a deal that involved Russell Westbrook and unprotected first-round picks in 2027 and 2029, along with several others that included Jordan Clarkson, Mike Conley and a combination of Malik Beasley and Rudy Gay.

Bogdanovic wasn’t ready to answer questions about his future, but he told Scotto that the Pistons’ interest is flattering.

“I’m here only for a couple of days, but if they’re open for that, we’ll see what’s going to happen,” he said.

There’s more from Detroit:

  • Casey wasn’t discouraged by the Pistons’ 21-point loss to the Knicks in Tuesday’s preseason opener, according to Mike Curtis of The Detroit News. With the regular season less than two weeks away, Casey is more concerned with player development than trying to win. “What exhibition season does, it tells us what we need to work on,” he said. “In exhibition, I don’t get caught up in losses. I get caught up in what you put on video. It gives us a lot of teaching points to look at on the video in exhibition.”
  • An ankle injury forced Cade Cunningham to miss the preseason as a rookie, but he’s healthy and focused this time around, Curtis adds in a separate story.
  • James L. Edwards III of The Athletic breaks down Jaden Ivey‘s 16-point performance in his first game. The No. 5 pick in this year’s draft was able to put constant pressure on New York’s defense and made good decisions with the ball, but he needs to improve defensively to stay in front of NBA guards, Edwards states.

Eastern Notes: LaVine, Ivey, Duren, Dunn, Magic

After dealing with left knee pain for several months last season, Bulls star Zach LaVine underwent surgery to address the issue over the offseason. It appears that he’s returned to full strength in training camp, writes Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago.

I feel good,” LaVine said after Saturday’s practice. “Obviously, I’m going to take training camp this year to pretty much get back into it. It’s the first time I really had to do that, because I rehabbed all summer. But I feel really good.

Training camp has been really good for me. This is my first live action. I actually surprised myself a little bit, how I was feeling. I thought I was going to have to work my way in a little bit more. But I’ve been playing pretty good.”

The two-time All-Star signed a five-year, $215MM contract in July to stay with Chicago.

Here’s more from the East:

  • Pistons lottery picks Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren are showcasing their explosive athleticism during training camp, per Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. “When you say Jalen and Jaden, those guys can run. They can fly,” Hamidou Diallo smiled, shaking his head. “It’s going to be exciting. Jalen, a great shot-blocker – he’s caught me a couple of times. Having him protecting the rim and Jaden, a guy that can dribble up and go by anybody, that’s something in itself.”
  • The Wizards‘ G League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go, has acquired the returning player rights to Kris Dunn from the Ontario Clippers. Ontario received Capital City’s first and second-round picks in this year’s G League draft, plus the returning rights to Yogi Ferrell. Dunn participated in a mini-camp with the Wizards this summer in the hopes of landing another NBA job. The former No. 5 overall pick has dealt with ankle issues the past couple years and remains a free agent after spending 14 games with the Blazers at the end of last season.
  • The Magic had to cancel practice for the second consecutive day on Thursday due to Hurricane Ian, notes Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. However, they were able to resume practice on Friday, according to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press, who adds that the team’s owners, the DeVos family, made a $1MM donation for hurricane relief efforts.

Central Notes: Connaughton, Ball, Cunningham

Pat Connaughton believes he could have gotten more money in free agency but he wanted to stay with the Bucks. That’s why he exercised his contract option this summer before signing an extension, Eric Nehm of The Athletic writes.

“I think I have the opportunity to potentially make a little bit more elsewhere, but for me, to prolong my career, how do you keep yourself in a position where they value what I do? I value winning,” he said. “I value my teammates and the culture that we’ve built, the organization, the management, the ownership, all of it.”

Connaughton, who received a three-year extension worth $28.3MM in July, added that the team is hungry after getting bounced in the second round of the playoffs by the Celtics last season.

“I think we have a group of guys that are excited to get back out there and excited to play with a chip on our shoulder and not have that same taste in our mouths,” he said. “It’s one of those things where I’ll never forget sitting in Boston after Game 7. You use that as fuel, you use that as hunger and you take a slow, methodical approach to this offseason to making sure you’re putting yourself in the best position to come out on top again.”

We have more from the Central Division:

  • The Bulls are expected to be without their starting point guard, Lonzo Ball, in the early portion of the season due to lingering pain in his surgically repaired left knee. ESPN’s Jamal Collier takes an in-depth look at Ball’s knee issues. Ball hasn’t taken the court since mid-January after originally receiving a projected recovery timeline of eight weeks.
  • The biggest question regarding Pistons guard Cade Cunningham this season is whether he can develop a consistent 3-point shot, James Edwards III of The Athletic opines. Edwards also considers what second-year forward Isaiah Livers and lottery picks Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren must prove in order for Detroit to be a surprise team this season.
  • In case you missed it, the Pistons officially signed Micah Potter to an Exhibit 10 contract.

Magic Notes: Shittu, Harris, Bamba, Banchero

After three years of working for an NBA opportunity, Simisola Shittu may be getting his best chance with the Magic, writes Tony East of Forbes. A report earlier this month indicates that Shittu will be in training camp with Orlando, likely on an Exhibit 10 contract.

The 22-year-old was considered a top prospect when he enrolled at Vanderbilt, but he suffered a torn ACL that healed just in time for his lone collegiate season. He went undrafted in 2019 and spent two years in the G League before heading to Israel. He played for the Pacers in this year’s Las Vegas Summer League, earning himself a chance with the Magic.

“I’m resilient,” he said. “Certain cards don’t fall the right way or anything like that. But at the end of the day, I feel like I’ve just continued to grow from it and gotten better each year.”

There’s more from Orlando:

Eastern Notes: Caruso, Williams, Davis, Pistons

Playing hard-charging Alex Caruso less might produce better results for the Bulls guard, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times writes, arguing that Caruso’s style lends itself to playing in shorter bursts. Rookie Dalen Terry, another high-energy defender, could take away a few of Caruso’s minutes and that actually might be a good thing.

Caruso averaged 7.4 PPG, 4.0 APG and 1.7 SPG in his first year with the Bulls while being limited to 41 games due to injuries. He’s entering the second year of his four-year, $37MM contract.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • A breakout season from power forward Patrick Williams could be the Bulls’ biggest hope for internal improvement, according to NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson. Williams missed most of last season due to a wrist injury. However, his skills could go a long way toward helping the Bulls fare better against the conference’s elite, Johnson notes, as he’ll often draw the opponent’s top player defensively.
  • Wizards lottery pick Johnny Davis will likely fight for minutes with last year’s first-round pick Corey Kispert, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic. Davis projects as a better defender than Kispert, but Kispert has the edge in experience and 3-point shooting. Becoming a better spot-up shooter will be pivotal for Davis to live up to his draft status, notes one of several scouts interviewed by Robbins to evaluate the rookie’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Not surprisingly, Cade Cunningham is the most valuable asset the Pistons possess, The Athletic’s James Edwards III writes. However, their second-most valuable asset isn’t a player currently on their roster but rather their draft pick next year, since Detroit is expected to be in the lottery again. Edwards ranks the team’s top 10 assets, with rookie guard Jaden Ivey coming in third.

Eastern Notes: Mitchell, Knicks, Toppin, Durant, Haslem, Pistons

On the heels of a report from The Athletic regarding a recent Knicks trade proposal for Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, Marc Berman of the New York Post reports that Utah is seeking four unprotected picks.

The Knicks’ offer was said to include Evan FournierObi Toppin, five first-round picks and “additional salary.” In that proposal, two of the five first-round picks the Knicks offered were unprotected.

All the extra first-rounders the team has acquired from other clubs have some form of protections on them, so the Jazz are apparently seeking four of New York’s own future picks.

That would be a tough pill for New York to swallow, since it would be difficult to make another significant trade and become a championship contender. The stalemate in the trade discussions is centered around the unprotected picks, rather than the mix of players, according to Berman.

New York is willing to deal Toppin in part because small ball lineups with Toppin and Julius Randle are unappealing to the organization, Berman adds.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Though Kevin Durant hasn’t backed down from his trade demand, the Nets have not yet lowered their asking price, Marc Stein reports in a Substack post. The organization believes there’s still time for Durant to soften his stance and remain with the franchise. They also want to see if Durant will report to training camp on time or if he’ll try to make things more uncomfortable and force the organization’s hand.
  • Udonis Haslem has decided to continue his playing career because he’s a “bearer of Heat culture,” Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press tweets. Haslem said in part, “I’m sacrificing for the next generation. You know, I’m the bearer of Heat culture, I take it serious. It’s not a game. It’s not a joke. … I’ve watched the culture save so many, like it saved me.”
  • Longtime NBA player and current ESPN broadcaster Jalen Rose feels the combination of Cade Cunningham and rookie Jaden Ivey will spark the Pistons’ revival, according to a video post from The Detroit News’ Mike Curtis. “I think we now have another All-Star backcourt. … I’m really excited about the potential of our team,” said Rose, a Michigan native.

Central Notes: Pistons, Turner, Bitadze

There are many ways Pistons coach Dwane Casey could go with his rotation next season, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com writes. In Langlois’ view, Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart and Jaden Ivey are the only rotation locks, with Kelly Olynyk, Marvin Bagley III, Killian Hayes and Alec Burks “good bets” to join them. Beyond that, Casey has numerous choices between youth and experience.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Pistons fans are brimming with optimism, though they’re realistic about next season’s prospects, The Athletic’s James Edwards III revealed in a fan poll. With nearly 2,000 subscribers weighing in, 98 percent professed confidence in the team’s direction and 64 percent said they were very confident in the front office. However, 72.5 percent voted that the team would only win between 26-35 games next season. Second-year forward Isaiah Livers received the most votes for “breakout” player.
  • Myles Turner‘s season could play out similar to the way Victor Oladipo departed from the Pacers organization in 2020, Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files opines. Turner could get off to a good start and pump up his trade value. In the same mailbag piece, Agness speculates that Goga Bitadze won’t have a long-term role in the organization due to the team’s current playing style, along with the presence of Isaiah Jackson and Jalen Smith.
  • Earlier on Monday, Giannis Antetokounmpo stated he wouldn’t mind playing for the Bulls later in his career. Get the details here.

Central Notes: I. Mobley, Pistons, Haliburton, Pacers

Cavaliers rookie two-way player Isaiah Mobley, older brother to 2022 All-Rookie Cleveland center Evan Mobley, enjoyed an impressive Summer League turn. Now, the Cleveland front office is optimistic that the elder Mobley can make an impact on the team’s regular season roster as well, writes Kelsey Russo of The Athletic. He finished his first Summer League experience with a 15-point, 10-rebound game against the Hawks.

The Cavaliers, who finished with their first winning record in four years during the 2021/22 season, drafted the 22-year-old power forward out of USC with the No. 49 pick last month and signed him to a two-way contract. Despite an inconsistent jumper, Mobley was able to aid the Cavaliers’ Summer League roster on the court through playmaking in short stints, grabbing boards, and blocking opponents on defense.

“I mean, he’s comfortable with the ball in his hands,” Summer League head coach Mike Gerrity, an assistant under head coach J.B. Bickerstaff during the regular season, said of Mobley. “So we’re trying to put it in his hands at times to allow him to make the plays. And I think when him and [first-round lottery pick] Ochai [Agbaji] are coming into the dribble-handoff, it’s a really lethal combination, especially out here in summer league. And so, he’s growing, and he’s learning, just like the rest of these guys. But just his decision-making, his ability to make passes, make the right reads, and he’s an unselfish player.”

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • After spending the past three seasons languishing with lottery-bound young rosters, the Pistons‘ front office is buzzing about the team’s exciting core, writes Jamal Collier of ESPN. Detroit’s two 2022 lottery picks, shooting guard Jaden Ivey and center Jalen Duren, both flashed plenty of promise in this year’s Las Vegas Summer League showcase. “I think we hit a home run,” a team source expressed to Collier. “We positioned ourselves well and [general manager] Troy [Weaver] did a great job of putting guys together on the same timeline… We’ll probably have the youngest team in the league next year, or one of [them], so we have to be careful not to put too much pressure or set expectations. We’ve got great chemistry, and I think we’re going to be in position to make a big jump in wins.” The Pistons project Ivey, the fifth pick out of Purdue, as an ideal backcourt fit alongside 2022 All-Rookie First Team point guard Cade Cunningham.
  • Despite the fact that the Suns wound up matching the Pacers‘ maximum offer sheet to Phoenix center Deandre Ayton, Indiana guard Tyrese Haliburton appreciated his club’s willingness to pony up the dough for such a high-level player, as he told Alex Golden and Mike Facci in a recent episode of the podcast Setting The Pace (hat tip to James Boyd of the Indianapolis Star for the transcription). “Our front office is aggressive to want to get back in the playoffs,” Haliburton said. “They’re aggressive to compete for championships, as they should be, as any organization should be. And obviously they offered DA that deal and he accepted it. I think it would’ve been beneficial because he’s a great player, but Phoenix obviously matched as they probably should and you just kind of move on from it.”
  • The revamped Pacers will boast a young roster with high upside heading into the 2022/23 season. In another piece (subscriber link), Boyd takes a look at the team’s current personnel, speculating about potential starters and the bench rotation. Boyd also notes that current projected veteran starters Buddy Hield and Myles Turner could be traded before the 2023 deadline.

Central Notes: Ivey, Pistons Roster, Agbaji, Bulls

After injuring his ankle against the Wizards last weekend in an eventual 105-99 win, Pistons lottery pick Jaden Ivey was held out for the rest of Detroit’s Summer League action. Head coach Dwane Casey clarified that Ivey’s absence was precautionary, per Mike Curtis of the Detroit News.

[Ivey’s] OK, just a good turned ankle and he bounced back like a trooper,” Casey said. “He wanted to play, but the medical staff held him out.”

The 20-year-old was selected by Detroit in this year’s draft with the fifth pick after a stellar showing at Purdue. During his second and final college season in 2021/22, Ivey averaged 17.3 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 3.1 APG, and 0.9 SPG. He was named to the All-Big Ten First Team, and the All-American Second Team for his efforts.

Despite playing just five quarters of Summer League basketball, the 6’4″ shooting guard averaged 15.0 PPG, 4.0 APG and 3.0 RPG in Las Vegas while shooting 50% from beyond the arc.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • With the Pistons’ five-game Summer League run in the rear view, James L. Edwards III of The Athletic examines the club’s personnel heading into training camp. Though the team currently has 15 guaranteed deals on its main roster and both two-way slots filled, Edwards notes that, with $8-10MM in unused cap space, Detroit’s front office could look to make further adjustments to the team. Edwards projects depth charts for the roster as currently comprised, noting that only point guard Cade Cunningham and power forward Saddiq Bey appear guaranteed to start on opening night.
  • Cavaliers rookie shooting guard Ochai Agbaji, selected with the No. 14 pick out of reigning NCAA champion Kansas this year, appears to be headed for a rotation role, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Agbaji could be used to bolster Cleveland’s long-range shooting as an off-ball option. “We know how great of a shooter he is and how good he is running off screens,” said Summer League head coach Mike Gerrity, who serves as a player development coach in the regular season under head coach J.B. Bickerstaff. “I imagine that is going to be a way that J.B. is going to utilize him come the regular season.”
  • Prior to an unfortunate (minor) right hamstring injury, Bulls rookie first-round pick Dalen Terry was rounding into form as a promising finisher and versatile defender who could contribute to Chicago’s rotation in the fall, writes K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. Johnson adds that second-year center Marko Simonovic had an uneven second Summer League and voices skepticism about Simonovic’s ability to crack Chicago’s center rotation behind starter Nikola Vucevic and new backup Andre Drummond. Johnson also floats Summer League Chicago reserve center Makur Maker as a potential fit for Chicago’s open two-way player slot next to undrafted rookie Justin Lewis.