NBA Draft 2021 Rumors: Pistons Not 'Fully There' on Taking Cade Cunningham at No. 1

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJuly 26, 2021

With his teammates looking on at rear, Cade Cunningham announces that he will enter the NBA draft after a dynamic freshman season that saw him named a first-team AP All-American, Thursday, April 1, 2021, in Stillwater, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

Oklahoma State point guard Cade Cunningham is the presumptive first overall pick in Thursday's NBA draft, but ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday that the Detroit Pistons, who have that selection, aren't "fully there yet" in regards to taking the first-team All-American.

In addition, they are also considering USC big man Evan Mobley and Jalen Green of the NBA G League Ignite at No. 1:

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

Detroit’s internal meetings are still revolving around three players for the No. 1 pick on Thursday night — Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green and Evan Mobley, sources tell ESPN. Detroit isn’t fully there yet on committing to Cunningham with their first overall choice.

Cunningham averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game in his lone season for Oklahoma State.

Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report followed Wojnarowski's news with a report that the Oklahoma City Thunder, who own the No. 6 overall pick in addition to a boatload of other selections throughout future drafts, tried to move up to Detroit's spot.

Jonathan Wasserman @NBADraftWass

Was told the OKC Thunder had made a legitimate offer for #1 that the Pistons turned down <a href="https://t.co/qqwomMiGRQ">https://t.co/qqwomMiGRQ</a>

Despite a little smoke that the Pistons could be doing anything else outside adding Cunningham to the roster, the feeling seems to be that the ex-Oklahoma State star will be making his way to Detroit.

Per Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer, "front office executives around the league expect Detroit to stay at no. 1 and pick Cunningham."

Drew Packham of NBA.com's latest consensus mock draft, which pulls predictions from 12 different analysts, reveals that Cunningham is the consensus choice at No. 1 for Detroit.

Kelly Iko of The Athletic reported that it's "widely expected" that the Pistons will take Cunningham, although they've done their homework on Green as well. Still, Iko also reported that it would take a "cosmic offer" for the Pistons to consider moving out of No. 1 overall.

Cunningham also seems to be making himself at home in Detroit already, per Omari Samkofa II of the Detroit Free Press.

“I love Detroit,” Cunningham said:

“I’ve already been listening to Detroit music and things like that, way before the draft lottery, any of that stuff. I was already hip to the culture in Detroit. It’s a city that has a lot of things going on, and I feel like getting the sports team rolling again would be huge for the city.
"Detroit fits me, that’s the main thing I’m going to try to do is step in and embody the swag that people from Detroit walk with, the people from Michigan in general. They have an underdog, go-get-what-you-want feel to them and I like that about the city. 
“If I am able to go in there and be the No. 1 pick, I’m going to try to carry that same swag, in how I walk on the court and make the most out of it and wear the red, white and blue for sure."

Cunningham, a 6'8", 220-pound point guard, would be the first No. 1 overall pick by the Pistons since the team took Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Bob Lanier out of St. Bonaventure in 1970.


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