If you’re looking for more evidence the Pistons are not giving up the No. 1 pick…
While rumors are flying around about teams wanting to move up in the draft — all the way to No. 1 in some cases — Warriors GM Bob Myers cautioned Monday against expecting teams near the top to make a trade.
Bob Myers on the idea of moving up in the draft: "I think it's going to be tough, based on conversations…Those teams want young players, young stars. They seem to be holding on pretty tight (to those top picks)."
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) July 26, 2021
That doesn’t mean teams aren’t trying to move up. The Thunder have three first-round picks (6, 16, 18) and reportedly are willing to package them and more to move up in the 2021 NBA Draft. The Thunder wanted the Pistons’ No. 1 pick badly enough they offered their best young player and the No. 6 pick to jump up, reports Matt Babcock at basketballnews.com.
I’ve been told that the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder have been knocking the Pistons’ door down. Rumor has it that the Thunder offered the No. 6 pick and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in exchange for No. 1 — the Pistons declined. If the Pistons receive an offer better than that one, they may need to seriously consider it.
The target was Cade Cunningham, the consensus No. 1 pick out of Oklahoma City.
If true — and we should take every rumor this time of year with a lot of salt, this may well have been part of a fluid conversation and not a trade put on the table — that is a strong offer. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander averaged 23.7 points and 5.9 assists a game this past season and is one of the better young point guards in the game. A guy you can build around. With the No. 6 pick, the Pistons would still get a quality young player.
From Detroit’s perspective: If teams keep offering great packages so they can draft this elite player, maybe just keep the pick and draft that player. There’s a reason teams want him.
The report that the Pistons were still debating what to do with the top pick — take Cunningham, Jalen Green, or Evan Mobley — can be read as an invitation for teams to up their offers for the pick. Maybe Detroit is open to trading it away for the right package — and one with Gilgeous-Alexander would be tempting.
But the smart money is still on the Pistons keeping the pick and taking Cunningham.