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NBA Trade Rumors: Teams 'Continue to Pepper' Pistons with Offers for No. 1 Draft Pick

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 29, 2021

AP Photo/Mitch Alcala, File

Interested teams reportedly "continue to pepper" the Detroit Pistons with trade offers for the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday's 2021 NBA draft.

Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer reported he's hearing "increased chatter" that the Pistons could trade down or select Jalen Green over presumptive top choice Cade Cunningham, but he noted Cunningham "remains the favorite" to come off the board first.

It's rare for draft night to arrive with so much uncertainty around the No. 1 selection, both in terms of who will be taken and which team will make that choice.

The key may be how far the Pistons are willing to move down if another front office offers a king's ransom for the top spot. It's one of the deepest classes in years, which works in Detroit's favor, though Cunningham is the safest bet of the top prospects to become a superstar.

Green, Jalen Suggs, Evan Mobley and Scottie Barnes headline the other players with a strong chance to land in the top five. It would likely take a monumental offer for the Pistons to consider moving outside the first five picks.

Detroit general manager Troy Weaver confirmed to reporters Tuesday that his front office remains flexible:

"I said it from the onset: We're going to have a process and we're going to turn over every stone. That's what we're doing. Everybody's made the pick but us. But we're going to continue to do our work, turn over every stone and land where we're going to land. We're confident in our work and we're enjoying the process."

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The Pistons are still a couple of years away from contention, even with adding a top prospect, so a trade offer that keeps them inside the top five and adds a major haul of future picks will be intriguing.

That said, Cunningham may be too good to pass up.

The 19-year-old Oklahoma State product is NBA-ready after averaging 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.3 threes and 1.6 steals across 27 appearances during his only season with the Cowboys. He should be an offensive asset right out of the gate.

Detroit has some promising building blocks, led by Saddiq Bey, Josh Jackson and Isaiah Stewart, and veteran forward Jerami Grant earned a place on Team USA for the Olympics with a breakout season. But the team is still seeking the cornerstone piece in its rebuild.

Cunningham would fill the void, so it would be a surprise if the Pistons don't take him No. 1 despite the ample rumors during the final hours before the draft.

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