NBA Draft Rumors: Execs Expect Pistons to Take Cade Cunningham, Not Trade No. 1 Pick

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJuly 22, 2021

AP Photo/Brody Schmidt

The Detroit Pistons have a lot of options with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NBA draft, but the team could stick with the obvious choice of taking Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham.

"Front-office executives around the league expect Detroit to stay at No. 1 and pick Cunningham," Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer reported.

Jonathan Givony of ESPN reported earlier this month that the Pistons were exploring trade opportunities and that the Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, New Orleans Pelicans and Oklahoma City Thunder were considering a move up to No. 1.

Shams Charania of The Athletic added the Rockets were "aggressive" in trying to move up from No. 2 to No. 1.

The Pistons, however, appear likely to stay put and select the best player in the class.

Cunningham entered last season as the top recruit in the class, per 247Sports, and a great freshman year at Oklahoma State didn't change that perception.

The guard averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.6 steals per game, winning Big 12 Player of the Year and being named an All-American. He shot 40 percent from three-point range and displayed the ability to create his own shot with consistency, helping him make an easy transition to the NBA.

After the Pistons finished 20-52 last season, the organization needs an infusion of talent, and Cunningham could be an immediate go-to option.

Detroit could also consider top prospects Jalen Green and Evan Mobley, both of whom could contribute on both ends. Green is a polished perimeter scorer, while Mobley has elite upside as a versatile center.

Trading back could also add assets to speed up the rebuild.

That said, few Pistons fans will complain if they stay put and select Cunningham with the first pick.


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