The Detorit Pistons have the 5th pick in the 2022 NBA draft and could have competition for the man they want.
The Pistons’ number one target is still a mystery, but most draft pundits believe it will be either Keegan Murray, Jaden Ivey, or Shaedon Sharpe.
Ivey makes sense, especially if the Pistons don’t trade Jerami Grant, and his recent statement about coming to Detroit could make him even more desirable.
One of those three players will almost certainly be available unless there are some crazy trades at the top of the draft. So if the Detroit Pistons are lucky enough to pick one of them, they likely have a choice of two of the three.
Since the top 3 is pretty close to a lock, the Sacramento Kings will hold all the cards with the 4th pick. It’s possible that the Pistons will trade to get it, especially if Ivey is still there, but it’s also possible that another team is in the mix.
Detroit Pistons: OKC Thunder is a team to watch in the 2022 NBA Draft
If the Pistons are happy to pick Keegan Murray, Shaedon Sharpe or Bennedict Mathurin, they will likely get their chance as it increasingly looks like Ivey will finish in the top four whether the Kings swap picks or not.
The Kings have expressed their desire to get a Win Now type player who could put the Pistons in the running since they have Jerami Grant to fit that mold, but they’d probably have to give up 5th pick as well, so maybe not worth it.
There are also reports that OKC is “aggressively” pursuing a trade for Jaden Ivey. So if he’s there when the Kings select, you can expect OKC to make an offer. The Thunder has three picks in the first round and could use one of them, plus a young player to step up and have both second and fourth picks:
#12 Pick 2022 NBA Draft
#4 Pick 2022 NBA Draft
In the trade, the Kings are getting a Win Now player in Dort who’s only 23 years old, despite having an expiring contract. You also get a pick in the lottery, so you can always add a young player to go with there.
The Kings would also likely want Pick #30, which the Thunders might ditch if they’re really after Ivey.
In this scenario, the Thunder exit the 2022 NBA draft with Chet Holmgren and Jaden Ivey, which would give them the best young core in the NBA and potentially make SGA expendable in a trade.
It’s hard to tell if the Pistons’ alleged interest in Ivey is just a smoke screen to hide their true intentions, but if they want to pair him with Cade Cunningham, they likely have other competitors than just the Kings.