After posting a 20-52 regular season record in the 2020/21 season, the worst in the East (and the second-worst in the league), the Pistons were rewarded with the No. 1 pick in what looks to be a loaded upcoming draft. There are several promising prospects from which Detroit may choose.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link), the Pistons haven’t yet made a final decision on what they’ll do with the No. 1 pick, but internal front office conversations have boiled down to the three players widely thought to be the cream of the crop: 6’8″ Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham, 6’6″ NBAGL Ignite shooting guard Jalen Green, and 7’0″ USC center Evan Mobley.
The Pistons’ interest in Green and Mobley has been repeatedly reported since they landed the top overall pick in the lottery last month. However, Woj noted on Sunday that Cunningham, widely viewed as the “safe” selection, remains the most likely candidate to be chosen by Detroit in the draft on Thursday.
This lack of certainty surrounding the pick has apparently prompted other teams to attempt to pry away the selection from the Pistons. Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report tweets that the Thunder, who have six selections in this year’s draft (including three within the top 20), made a serious trade proposal for the top pick that was summarily rejected.
The Thunder have several intriguing young players on their current roster, including guards Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Luguentz Dort, and would no doubt love to add a marquee young player with an All-NBA ceiling along the lines of Cunningham, Green or Mobley.