It’s been reported before, and it’s what most everyone around the league still expects:
The Detroit Pistons will select Cade Cunningham with the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.
And now, like clockwork, comes the annual “the team with the No. 1 pick is considering taking someone other than the consensus top player” report.
We have to give it some credence because it comes from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, but take this with full shaker of salt.
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.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 26, 2021
If the Pistons were trying to get better trade offers for the top pick, this kind of leak would signal to other teams they are potentially open for business.
Or, maybe the Pistons haven’t decided whether or not to take Cunningham.
But most likely, they just take Cunningham.
Cunningham is the consensus No. 1 pick and considered the surest thing of the players at the top of the board to develop into a franchise cornerstone player. He is a 6’8″ ball handler and scorer who could be a Khris Middleton-level shot creator in the halfcourt (but Cunningham is a little more fluid of an athlete, he might be more than that). Cunningham has worked out for the Pistons — and only the Pistons. Plus, Cunningham wants to be in Detroit. It’s hard to pass that up when the fan base is into it.
Green also has superstar potential; he is an elite athlete who averaged 17.9 points a game and shot 36.5% on 3s going against men in the G-League bubble. He can get buckets in the NBA right now and may develop into much more than that, but will he round out his game to fulfill that potential? Mobley needs a little more development but has the build, athleticism, and skill set of a modern NBA center. Some see him as having the potential to develop into a Chris Bosh-style force in the league.
The Pistons will likely play all the angles until Adam Silver says they are officially on the clock. Then they will very likely draft Cunningham.