Detroit rebuffed the attempts of New York and other teams to trade for Jaden Ivey after the Purdue guard landed at its lottery pick. Pistons GM Troy Weaver then used the Knicks’ need to open up cap space to make a run at Jalen Brunson against them, as New York traded the No. 11 pick to Oklahoma City for a trio of future first-rounders. A three-team agreement among New York, Detroit and Charlotte was then engineered involving the No. 13 pick, where Duren dropped.
Detroit was content to take on Kemba Walker‘s contract, which it will buy out, according to Edwards. It was a best-case scenario for the Pistons to land Ivey and Duran but they’ll still be big players in free agency, though not necessarily for Deandre Ayton or another big name on the market. They may instead add multiple veteran pieces.
We have more from the Central Division:
- Ivey said he’s eager to show that he has a mid-range game and can be a defensive force, two of the knocks on him going into the draft. Those were issues talked about in conversations with Weaver and coach Dwane Casey prior to the draft, Edwards writes in a separate story. “They talked about winning, and that’s what I want to do,” Ivey said. “We talked about setting a defensive presence when I get there and bringing back winning to Detroit. (Weaver) challenged me to be a great defender. I want to do that.”
- The Bucks selected G League Ignite wing MarJon Beauchamp at No. 24 and GM Jon Horst believes that Beauchamp can make an impact with his defensive tenacity, Eric Nehm of The Athletic writes. “Length, athleticism, I think he’s got a grittiness and a toughness to him,” Horst said. “He’s going to have to work on his strength like any young player. … One thing about the G League is it’s a bunch of fast, quick, athletic guys, and I think he really held his own.”
- Wing Ochai Agbaji, chosen with the No. 14 pick, gives the Cavaliers another quality offensive option, coach J.B. Bickerstaff told The Athletic’s Kelsey Russo and other media members. “I thought he could be a weapon. He’s got a skill that no matter where you are in the NBA, you need it,” Bickerstaff said. “He has the ability to put the ball in the basket, and it’s not just the ability to stand in a spot and make a shot.”