Shams: Rockets 'Aggressively Pursuing' Trade for Pistons' No. 1 Overall Pick

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJuly 24, 2021

Basketball: NBA Playoffs: Closeup view of Houston Rockets logo on court before game vs San Antonio Spurs at Toyota Center. Game 4. 
Houston, TX 5/7/2017
CREDIT: Greg Nelson (Photo by Greg Nelson /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)
(Set Number: SI847 TK1 )
Set Number: SI847 TK1

One way to accelerate any rebuild is with the No. 1 overall pick of the NBA draft, and the Houston Rockets reportedly have their eye on just that in 2021, even though it currently belongs to the Detroit Pistons.

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported the Rockets are "aggressively pursuing" the Pistons' top pick prior to Thursday's NBA draft:

Stadium Bets @StadiumBets

The Rockets are pursuing the No. 1 overall pick from the Pistons, according to our <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBA?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBA</a> Insider <a href="https://twitter.com/ShamsCharania?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ShamsCharania</a>.<br><br>Check out Draft Decisions, presented by <a href="https://twitter.com/FDSportsbook?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@FDSportsbook</a>. <a href="https://t.co/RbczE1OHkT">pic.twitter.com/RbczE1OHkT</a>

Charania noted Houston would target Cade Cunningham if it did land the top pick, which doesn't come as much of a surprise.

The Oklahoma State guard is widely considered the top prospect in the draft after his one collegiate season saw him win the Big 12 Player of the Year as a consensus All-American.

He averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 43.8 percent from the field and 40.0 percent from three-point range. He was the primary reason the Cowboys reached the Big 12 tournament championship game and the second round of the NCAA men's tournament.

Cunningham would help the Rockets after they finished an NBA-worst 17-55 during the 2020-21 campaign. However, the Pistons also need improvements after they finished with an Eastern Conference-worst 20-52 record.

The guard is a potential franchise cornerstone for both, so it would surely take the No. 2 overall pick and much more for the Rockets to move up for Cunningham.


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