The Pistons could go in a variety of directions with the No. 5 pick in the upcoming draft, writes James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. According to Edwards, while Purdue guard Jaden Ivey or Iowa forward Keegan Murray seem most likely to be selected, Arizona swingman Bennedict Mathurin enjoyed a good workout with the club and has impressed Detroit’s front office personnel.
Edwards considers the 6’4″ Ivey, a consensus All-American and a 2021/22 All-Big Ten selection, to have the highest ceiling among this trio. In 36 college contests, Ivey averaged 17.3 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 3.1 APG and 0.9 SPG with a shooting line of .460/.358/.744.
Edwards acknowledges that the versatile Murray seems more readily capable of contributing at the next level than Ivey. The 6’8″ forward, himself a consensus All-American and 2021/22 All-Big Ten honoree while with the Hawkeyes, averaged 23.5 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 1.9 BPG, 1.5 APG and 1.3 SPG across 35 games.
Mathurin projects to be a solid long-range shooter and wing defender, Edwards writes. Mathurin was a consensus All-American and the 2021/22 Pac-12 Player of the Year during his second season with the Wildcats, averaging 17.7 PPG, 5.6 RPG and 2.5 APG. During his sophomore season, the 6’7″ guard boasted shooting averages of .450/.369/.764.
There’s more out of the Central Division:
- Former Duke small forward AJ Griffin believes he would be a good match for the Pacers, per James Boyd of the Indianapolis Star. The Pacers possess the sixth pick in the 2022 draft. “I think I would fit perfectly,” Griffin said. “Just being able to play with guys who look for their open teammates and get your teammates going, I think I would fit perfectly… I love [guard Tyrese Haliburton]’s game.” Though Griffin averaged a fairly modest 10.4 PPG and 3.9 RPG as a one-and-done freshman for the Blue Devils, he proved to be a promising three-point shooter, connecting on 44.7% of his 4.1 long-range looks per night. The 18-year-old is currently listed as the ninth-best player on ESPN’s big board.
- Though the Bucks did not defend their 2021 title in the 2022 postseason, the team’s rotation wings performed at a high level during the 2021/22 season, writes Eric Nehm of The Athletic. Nehm grades the on-court play of All-Star small forward Khris Middleton, swingman Wesley Matthews, guard Pat Connaughton, guard Grayson Allen, and the rest of Milwaukee’s perimeter players.
- The Cavaliers are set to work out Tennessee point guard Kennedy Chandler on Wednesday, according to Andrew Slater of Pro Insight (Twitter link). Cleveland possesses the No. 14 pick at the end of the 2022 draft lottery. Chandler was the MVP of the 2022 SEC Tournament. A 2022 All-SEC Second Team selection, the 6’0″ guard averaged 13.9 PPG, 4.7 APG and 3.2 RPG on .464/.383/.606 shooting for the Volunteers. Chandler is listed as the No. 19 prospect on the latest ESPN board.