Every NBA player wants to get their career off on the right foot. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always go that way. A sophomore may find himself demoted – even after a solid rookie year.
Teams have to decide what they think will be best for them. With that in mind, Jaden Ivey of the Detroit Pistons had a solid rookie season. He was inconsistent, but typically, that’s something we forgive in a rookie.
The Pistons feel differently. Ivey has lost his starting spot in favor of Killian Hayes. Surely, Ivey was not expecting this demotion. What happens next? We’re not sure.
Still, some have suggested that Ivey’s days in Detroit are numbered. If the Pistons do make Ivey available, there will be a line-up of suitors.
Here are three teams that we think should be interested in him.
Let’s talk about Ivey in a little more detail. He’s an explosive athlete who has no issue getting to the rim. He’s a solid playmaker in his own right. His shot is a work in progress, but it’s tenable. What’s the issue here?
Defense. That’s the advantage that Hayes has over Ivey, and that’s why he’s starting. So, any team looking to acquire Ivey should be desperate for half-court creation.
In other words, the Toronto Raptors have entered the chat. On the other hand, the Raptors seem to place a heightened importance on defense.
NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Jaden Ivey, Detroit Pistons, Toronto Raptors Updates
He’d be a good fit with this roster, but maybe he doesn’t jive with the team’s overarching philosophies. If that’s how the Raptors feel, perhaps a team with a more solid defensive anchor would be interested in Ivey.
San Antonio Spurs
Lately, there’s something sentimental about the San Antonio Spurs. They’ve got a generational big man who’s already productive in his rookie season. Clearly, we’re talking about Victor Wembanyama. The Spurs have found their Tim Duncan to move forward with.
Could Ivey be their Tony Parker? The comparison works for us. Head coach Gregg Popovich had a lot of success by pairing an elite two-way big with a star dribble penetrator.
Meanwhile, any concerns about Ivey’s defensive value could be offset by the presence of Wembanyama. If there’s a concern here, it will have to do with the assets that the Spurs would have to give up.
NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Jaden Ivey, Detroit Pistons, San Antonio Spurs Updates
This team is in the beginning of a rebuild. If the Spurs feel stingy with their first-round picks, that would be understandable. Should a team with win-now ambitions make a move for Ivey?
The Miami Heat are in a different position than either of these teams. They’re fresh off of an NBA Finals appearance. At the same time, it’s been a disappointing season for the Heat so far. This team needs a guard who can create in the halfcourt.
Like the Spurs, the Heat have the defensive roster to cover for any weaknesses Ivey has on that front. Moreover, Ivey is a sophomore. He can certainly improve on that end of the floor.
Could the vaunted Heat culture rub off on Ivey? Who knows? Either way, Erik Spoelstra’s drive-and-kick system ought to suit Ivey.
NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Jaden Ivey, Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat Updates
This feels like a good fit if the Heat are willing to take a risk on a sophomore. Who knows? If this goes well, they could help the Heat get back on track.