While the Detroit Pistons have had a down season even by their expectations, it is undeniable that the future is bright. Rookies Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren have been selected for NBA All-Star weekend’s Rising Stars Game, per an NBA press release. They will join some of the best young players in the league, including last year’s Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes and runner-up Evan Mobley.
In what has been a lost season for the Pistons, the young rookies (and young even by rookie standards) have shown some promise for the future. Duren has blossomed into one of the most encouraging young centers in the league, averaging 8.4 points and 8.5 rebounds per game on 66% shooting. He has also emerged as a viable rim protector and one of the best rebounders, both offensively and defensively. Duren is also exceedingly young even for a rookie, making his ascension even more impressive.
Ivey has been dealt a difficult hand this season while being asked to burden a big offensive load with Cade Cunningham out for the season. Ivey is averaging 15.1 points, 4.5 assists, and 4.1 rebounds per game on 41.5% efficiency. Despite some relatively poor efficiency, Ivey has shown a knack for getting downhill and to the rim. 39% of his shots are at the rim (a good thing) yet is only hitting 56% of those takes (less good) per Cleaning the Glass. With some additional shot makers out on the floor, Ivey should get cleaner looks as defenses scramble to cover. Until then, he will have to adapt.
The present may be a little gloomy, but the future is certainly bright in Detroit – highlighted by Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren.
(Featured image by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)