Report: Cade Cunningham Would Be 'Very Excited' If Pistons Took Him No. 1 in Draft

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJuly 7, 2021

Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham (2)points during an NCAA college basketball game Monday, March. 1, 2021, in Stillwater, Okla. (AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)
AP Photo/Brody Schmidt

While some NBA prospects might fear joining a struggling franchise, Cade Cunningham would reportedly love the chance to join the Detroit Pistons, who own the No. 1 pick of the 2021 draft on July 29.

"I would put Cunningham as the overwhelming favorite to end up in Detroit at that spot still, which, by the way, I've been told he would be very excited about," ESPN's Jonathan Givony reported Wednesday.

Cunningham has been penciled in as the top pick for months, although Givony noted the Pistons are also considering other players, including Jalen Green and Evan Mobley. The Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, New Orleans Pelicans and Oklahoma City Thunder are among the teams looking to trade up to No. 1.

If the Pistons do keep the pick, Cunningham would be a quality option based on what he showed during his lone season at Oklahoma State.

The guard averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game on his way to being named a consensus first-team All-American. He also shot 40 percent from three-point range while showing the ability to create looks for himself and others.

He was a clear go-to option for a team that earned a No. 4 seed in the NCAA tournament, the men's highest seed since 2004-05.

At 6'8", Cunningham can be a mismatch against smaller guards with the ability to either run an offense or play off-ball.

The Pistons are looking for any infusion of talent after finishing 20-52 as the worst team in the Eastern Conference.

Jerami Grant and Saddiq Bey could be quality contributors in the frontcourt, but the backcourt needs a lot of help after a quiet first year from Killian Hayes.

Cunningham could be an immediate star in Detroit and have almost free rein offensively, just like in previous levels of his basketball career. Though it might take him more time to find team success, the landing spot would be nearly perfect from an individual perspective.