Prospect #3: Jaden Ivey G (Purdue)
ESPN Rank 4
Jaden Ivey is the most explosive guard in the 2022 NBA Draft class. He can roast college defenders and that should follow him, like all of his defenders, to the NBA. Ivey may appear redundant next to Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr, but having three explosive athletes on the perimeter could give the Rockets one of the most fun and explosive backcourts in the NBA.
Ivey is listed at 6’4 and 200 pounds and has shot 35.6% from 3-point range this season to go along with 73.5% from the free-throw line. With his explosiveness, ability to change direction, and physical strength to absorb contact, he should be able to get to and finish at the rim at will.
Ivey’s physical traits should allow him to be a solid point-of-attack defender if his offensive load isn’t too large. His playmaking is solid and has improved over the course of the season. Ivey’s on-court production has been excellent, and his support system portends a player who will maximize their gifts.
Ivey’s mother played in the WNBA and is a basketball coach, she currently coaches the Notre Dame women’s team, and his father played professional football as a wide receiver in the NFL. Ivey will walk into the league and know exactly how to be a pro. That may not seem like a massive advantage but it is.
Ivey is an awesome prospect and if the Rockets land the fourth pick he’ll likely be the best player available. Talent wins in the NBA. Figuring out fit is what teams with talent do. The Rockets shouldn’t overthink it if Ivey is the best player available.