Central Notes: Ivey, Agbaji, Rubio, Terry

Jaden Ivey‘s family has a long connection to Detroit, and the Pistons are showing their appreciation to their newly drafted point guard, writes Rod Beard of The Detroit News. The organization presented Ivey with replicas of jerseys worn by his mother, father and grandfather — made more than three weeks ago “just in case” the Pistons were able to select him — and much like draft night, Ivey was overcome by tears.

“You could see my emotions a little bit,” he said. “Just my family, what they’ve been through their whole lives and what they’ve worked for, they helped me get to this stage, just to see all the jerseys it just made me emotional.”

Ivey will be part of the foundation of the team’s rebuilding project, forming a dynamic backcourt with Cade Cunningham, last year’s overall No. 1 pick. The city is already embracing Ivey as he continues the family’s sports legacy in Detroit.

“I’m gonna say this,” coach Dwane Casey said, “the history and story of Jaden is unbelievable. It’s like a fairy tale. Even from me, and I’ve been in (the league) a long time. To understand his grandfather played here, his dad went to high school here, his mom played in the WNBA here, successful college coach right now, it’s beyond belief. And like (general manager) Troy (Weaver) said, the good Lord wanted him here.”

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • The Cavaliers were seeking immediate help in the draft, which is why they took Ochai Agbaji instead of a prospect such as Malaki Branham, according to Jason Lloyd of The Athletic. Cleveland expects to make the playoffs next season, and with other targets such as Ousmane Dieng already off the board, Agbaji was an easy choice at No. 14.
  • There were opportunities for the Cavaliers to trade into the later part of the first round, but they didn’t want to take on another guaranteed contract, a member of the organization told Lloyd. Cleveland is hoping to bring back Ricky Rubio, who would give the team 14 guaranteed deals. Rubio is still rehabbing after ACL surgery and probably won’t be able to play until January, Lloyd adds.
  • The Bulls had opportunities to trade up and trade down Thursday night, but they were thrilled to get Arizona guard Dalen Terry with the 18th pick, per Julia Poe of The Chicago Tribune. “He’s going to bring versatility on both ends of the floor,” general manager Marc Eversley said. “Last year early on, we had a lot of success when we created turnovers defensively and got out and ran. I think he’s somebody who’s going to be able to do that for us.”


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