The 2022 NBA Draft is headlined by the big three of Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith and Paolo Banchero, but teams like the Detroit Pistons do not have an obvious choice. Detroit has pick No. 5 in the draft after finishing 23-59 last season.
The lottery gods did not treat the Pistons kindly this year as the entire organization was begging for a top three pick, but to no avail. After selecting Cade Cunningham with the first pick in 2021, the team is looking to pair the former Oklahoma State player with another young star.
This offseason is filled with many questions from Pistons fans. Who will the team draft? Will the Pistons extend Jerami Grant? Is Marvin Bagley III worth re-signing? These are just a few of many questions facing fans in the Motor City.
Let’s take a look at the three best options for the Pistons at pick No. 5.
Shaedon Sharpe is one of the most intriguing prospects in this entire draft, but one of the players we have the least information about. The 19-year-old is an extremely high-risk high-reward pick for the Pistons.
Sharpe entered college as the top prospect in his class and committed to play for John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats. He joined the team halfway through the season and practiced with the program, but did not play a single game for the team that got upset by Saint Peters.
He has an NBA-ready body at 6-foot-5, 200 pounds at the guard position. Many people think if he had played in college, he would have been the best player in this entire draft class. His other-wordly athleticism, mixed with his ability to score anywhere make him special.
The London, Ontario native last played in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League where he averaged 22.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists. He fits a hole that the Pistons need, but could he be the next Darko Milicic?
Keegan Murray, the 6-foot-8 sophomore of the University of Iowa might be the most NBA ready players in the entire draft. He would be a very safe pick for the Pistons with their lottery pick.
Murray is a very versatile forward who can play the 3-5 and can guard any position on the floor. He can hit the three ball, he can defend the post and he really can do it all. He may not be the type of guy to sell tickets, but Murray quietly has a very high ceiling and his floor is not very low.
At 21 years of age, the forward from Cedar Rapids, Iowa dominated in the Big Ten Conference averaging 23.5 points and 8.7 rebounds, while shooting 55.4% from the field and 39.8% from three. He also led his team to a Big Ten Tournament title. If the Detroit lineup stayed the same, Murray would likely slide into the small forward position.
Jaden Ivey is probably the most explosive player in the draft, and a player who truly deserves to be a top five pick. Sharpe is quite intriguing, but passing up on Ivey if he is still on the board would leave a lot of Pistons fans sleepless for days to come.
Ivey was one of the best downhill players in college at Purdue. When he flips the switch, he becomes an unguardable player with a lot of flash. Ivey is 20-years-old and a proven winner. He is the type of player this organization needs.
His stats are not jawdropping, but you just have to watch him to understand the player he is. It also did not help that Purdue’s offense is surrounded by their All-American big men. Ivey averaged 17.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists on 46% shooting.
At the end of the day, Pistons fans can be mad they did not get a top three pick, but this draft is stacked, and either of these three players will succeed in Detroit.