The Pistons‘ offseason coaching change and Cade Cunningham‘s return from injury have resulted in a new role for second-year guard Jaden Ivey, writes Dustin Dopirak of The Indianapolis Star. Ivey was used as a starter as a rookie and was given the freedom to handle the ball and create plays. He’s started just three of the 12 games he’s played under new coach Monty Williams and he’s being asked to adjust to playing off the ball.
“Every day is a new opportunity,” Ivey said. “Just be the best version of yourself. Nothing that I want in life is going to be easy. I’m going to have to work for everything. That’s the mindset I want to carry every single day is that I’m going to work hard for all the things I want in life. Let God take of everything. Just continue to work, put my head down. Nothing is easy in this league.”
The Pistons targeted Ivey to be an important part of their future when they selected him with the fifth pick in the 2022 draft, and Williams stressed that the organization’s view of him hasn’t changed. Ivey’s athleticism combined with an ability to finish at the basket and an effective three-point shot make him difficult to defend. Williams is urging him to be patient and is impressed by how he’s adjusting to the new role.
“He’s a developing player with a lot of talent,” Williams said. “He’s got his head in there every day, learning and growing in a new system. It’s Year 2, second coach, that can be a lot on anybody. I’ve enjoyed his spirit. He hasn’t run from all the stuff (that) has been new and sometimes overwhelming.”
There’s more from Detroit:
- The Pistons will tie a franchise record with 14 straight losses if they can’t beat Washington tonight, per Mike Curtis of The Detroit News. Williams said he wasn’t aware that the team is danger of reaching the record, as he’s been more concerned with player development and trying to eliminate the mistakes that are causing the team to lose.
- Williams provided an update on assistant coach Dan Burke, who has been away from the team since October 30, Curtis adds. Williams said he couldn’t provide any details because it’s a “personal situation,” but he confirmed that Burke is still part of the coaching staff.
- The Pistons aren’t in the market for a “panic trade,” league and team sources tell James L. Edwards III of The Athletic, but he talked to a few of his colleagues about the kind of deals the front office might pursue if things don’t change. He considers potential trades with the Warriors involving Andrew Wiggins, the Raptors involving OG Anunoby and the Knicks to get back their first-round draft pick, which is top-18 protected in 2024.