From the moment Detroit won the No. 1 pick in the lottery, there has been speculation that the Pistons would not do the obvious thing — draft Cade Cunningham first — and instead pick Jalen Green or Evan Mobley or trade the pick away. Second-year Pistons GM Troy Weaver likes to think like a contrarian and explore options, so…
Don’t believe it.
While nothing is set in stone and Weaver is exploring options, at the end of it all he likely keeps the pick and drafts Cunningham, reports Jonathan Givony of ESPN.
Teams including Cleveland, Houston, New Orleans and Oklahoma City are among those making overtures to evaluate what it would take to move up to the No. 1 slot, sources say, but those talks are at an early stage, and any trade is unlikely to be consummated until much closer to the draft, if at all…
But would the Pistons really pass on Cunningham if the draft were tonight? I still think the answer is no. 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.
No. 1 picks are rare and incredibly valuable things for teams; it can change the course of a franchise, so an incredible amount of due diligence is in order, especially in a year without an Anthony Davis/Zion Williamson no-brainer at the top of the board.
Weaver is doing the right thing. However, if Cunningham can be a franchise cornerstone as a 6’8″ playmaker — as most scouts believe — then the Pistons have to keep the pick and take him. It’s even a perfect fit with their young stars such as Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart, and Jerami Grant.
We know which way this is ultimately going to go, but it’s a lot more fun to speculate about trades and the unexpected, so the rumors will not stop until the Pistons make their pick on July 29.