Jaden Ivey on potentially being a Top 5 pick: ‘I feel like I stand out … just a special talent’

Yahoo Sports NBA draft analyst Krysten Peek sat down with Purdue G Jaden Ivey to speak about the NBA Draft process, why he hasn’t spoken with the Sacramento Kings, and why he believes he deserves to be selected as one of the top two picks.

Jaden Ivey is appearing on behalf of Panini America, who’ll be releasing its 2022 NBA Draft Instant cards the moment his name is called by the commissioner. The trading cards will forever capture that magical moment on stage and only be minted to the number sold, never to be made available again. To purchase, fans can go to paniniamerica.net.

Video Transcript

KRYSTEN PEEK: I'm Krysten Peek, NBA draft analyst for Yahoo Sports, here with Jaden Ivey in partnership with Panini America. Jaden, the draft is finally here. It's in a couple of days.

JADEN IVEY: Yeah.

KRYSTEN PEEK: How is this whole process going for you?

JADEN IVEY: I'm gonna say it's been a roller coaster of emotions. It's been kind of stressful, but most importantly, I feel like I'm really enjoying this process. I'm just thankful to be here and two days away. So that's all I can really say is it's-- it's going to be super fun and, you know, I can't wait to see where I land.

KRYSTEN PEEK: Yeah. Take me back to the beginning of the college season. I know that your mentality, like you want to come in and make a strong first impression. What were you thinking heading into your sophomore year? What was your mentality?

JADEN IVEY: I think the biggest thing was trying to win a national championship. That was our main goal. We fell short at the end of the season, but it's a lot to be proud of. Feel like our guys, you know, gave it 110% every day in practice, and we bought it into what Coach Payton was saying. And all you can do is leave it out there on the floor, and that's what we did.

KRYSTEN PEEK: John Morant, a player, you know, your mom coached, someone I know you know. And there's a lot of similarities in your guys' game. What have you taken from his game and tried to add to your own?

JADEN IVEY: I would say the biggest thing is change of pace. His change of pace stands out from a lot of point guards. I think that's the biggest thing.

And as far as athleticism, God blessed me with that so I just try to use that to the best of my abilities. And, you know, I think shooting has really came a long way since my freshman year, and it's something I can showcase on a high level. And, you know, I'm just going to keep improving in each aspect.

KRYSTEN PEEK: Yeah, you've been a top four consensus pick all year long. You got the Sacramento Kings sitting at 4 right now. You've said that you haven't worked out with them, you haven't had any contact with them. Is this more of a situation where you're looking for the better fit because they have an established backcourt, or why do you think there hasn't been any communication there?

JADEN IVEY: Uh, I just think the way my agents set out the way I planned it-- the way they planned it, I didn't really speak with them. Just happened to go that way. You know, I only worked out for Detroit and Orlando, so--

KRYSTEN PEEK: And OKC, right?

JADEN IVEY: No, no OKC came to watch my work out in LA, but that's just the way it planned out and we'll see what happens on draft night.

KRYSTEN PEEK: You mentioned that you worked out with the Orlando Magic, OKC came to see you. How do you think you performed during those workouts? I mean, was that one of your better workouts and that you could possibly go in that one two three range?

JADEN IVEY: I think all the workouts I did, I feel like I really competed. I really showcased what I'm able to do. I feel like I really improved my mid-range during the summer, so I was able to showcase that a little bit. It's something that I'm continuing to work on, and I think I can show the high level. So I feel like I did good in all the workouts.

KRYSTEN PEEK: OK, with Orlando at one and OKC at two, should people be shocked at all if they hear your name with the first or second pick?

JADEN IVEY: I don't think so at all. You know, I feel like I stand hope. I feel like I'm just a special talent, and if I'm called, I'm just going to be thankful and for what's on draft night.

KRYSTEN PEEK: Do you feel slighted at all that three bigger guys have gotten more love at the number one, number two pick than you do?

JADEN IVEY: Um, it's definitely a lot of motivation that comes into it. I feel like it's just-- it's just motivation for me to just keep working. I feel like my whole life I've kind of been underrated, so it's nothing new to me. So I'm just going to keep that edge and that motivation.

KRYSTEN PEEK: We got your first trading card here with Panini America. On draft night, after you hear your name called, it will be the first Instant Card of your career. How does it feel to see your face on a trading card like this?

JADEN IVEY: It's actually crazy seeing it up close, and it's just, like I said, it's just a blessing to be able to have my face on the card, and, you konw, knowing that little kids and a lot of people are going to get the card. And it's just, like I said, it's just a blessing, and, you know, I'm really blessed to be in this position.

KRYSTEN PEEK: Do you remember your first trading card you ever had as a kid?

JADEN IVEY: I had a lot of trading cards, actually.

KRYSTEN PEEK: What was your favorite?

JADEN IVEY: Um, I would say I had-- I used to have this Derrick Rose trading card, think I had LeBron James trading card. I had a couple. I, actually, had a lot. I would always like just pull out and look at it. It's just crazy to see my face on the card now, so.

KRYSTEN PEEK: Well, Jaden, you don't have to wait much longer to hear your name called. Good luck on Thursday night. We cannot wait to see what you do in the league.

JADEN IVEY: Thank you, I appreciate it.

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