Jaden Ivey 2022 NBA Draft Profile

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Jaden Ivey is a sophomore from South Bend, Indiana. The All-American guard led Purdue in scoring and assists last season and is widely considered one of the top prospects in the 2022 draft. 

Jaden Ivey 2022 NBA Draft Profile

College Career

A four-star recruit coming out of high school, Ivey drew the attention of local programs like Butler and Notre Dame, before ultimately committing to Purdue in 2019. Ivey overcame a foot injury in his freshman season and went on to a productive rookie year. He averaged 11.1 points per game in his 23 outings. Ivey started 12 of those games for the Boilermakers and averaged 24.2 minutes per game. His efforts were good enough to make the 2020-21 Big Ten All-Freshman team. 

His sophomore season saw Ivey ascend into one of the most exciting players in the nation. The 6’4” combo guard improved his numbers across the board, adding six points, two rebounds, and an assist to his averages from the previous year. On top of the statistical improvements, Ivey began to make a name for himself with a consistent stream of highlight-worthy plays. 

Ivey’s explosive play led Purdue to the Big Ten Conference championship game, where they would lose to Iowa. This loss came despite Ivey leading the team in points, rebounds, and assists. His impressive play made Ivey a member of the 2021-22 All Big-Ten Tournament Team.  The Boilermakers would stay hot, making it to the Sweet Sixteen before being eliminated by March-Cinderella St. Peters. Ivey finished the year as a member of the All Big-Ten First Team and a Consensus Second-Team All-American.

The young guard also averaged 12.3 points per game for Team USA in the 2021 FIBA Under-19 World Cup in Latvia.

Strengths

Dynamic. That’s the best word to describe Ivey’s game. His athleticism and explosiveness set him apart from other guards in this draft class. He has a quick first step that allows him to blow by defenders and get into the lane. Once there, Ivey has the bounce to take it to the rim over larger defenders. He has also shown a good eye in these situations and a knack for hitting the open man once defenders come to help. In transition, Ivey is a one-man fastbreak, able to take it 94 feet and finish with authority.

Although not a pure point guard, Ivey has shown great upside with his passing and decision-making. He looks for the open man when penetrating the defense and knows how to keep his teammates involved throughout the game. Ivey still has plenty of potential to improve his offensive game as well. He upped his three-point shooting percentage by 10 points from his freshman to sophomore year and that should continue to rise. 

Weaknesses

With great athleticism, comes great responsibility. If you can forgive the bad Spider-Man reference, my point is this: Young guards with the athletic ability to dominate their peers can get away with poor decisions early in their careers. It’s not until the playing field is level that these bad habits begin to have a negative impact. In regards to Ivey, he has a tendency to leave his feet prior to making a final decision on where to go with the ball. While this has led to several highlights, it has also been the cause of many turnovers. In addition to this, Ivey’s half-court offensive game could use some polish. If he can improve his pull-up in the midrange or develop his floater, Ivey would become nearly unguardable in the pick and roll. 

Another area of improvement for Ivey is ball control. His fast-paced approach leads to easy buckets, but it can also lead to unforced errors. Defensively, Ivey has shown flashes with his ability to play the passing lanes and block shots. However, he struggles to stay in front of his man in the pick and roll and needs to improve his consistency on that end of the floor. None of these are major holes in his game and Ivey should be in a position to flourish in the league if given the time to focus and improve in these areas. 

NBA Player Comparision

Ja Morant. No, seriously, it’s uncanny. When looking at these two side-by-side, the resemblance to each other’s games is astounding. They both have amazing athleticism and body control while airborne. Both could be better defenders and perimeter shooters, but Morant is the perfect example of what Ivey could be for the team that decides to take him in the first round. 

NBA Draft Projection

Ivey is a lock for the lottery and will likely be one of the first five players drafted.