The Detroit Pistons selected Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham with the first overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft on Thursday night. The Pistons won the draft lottery after finishing in the bottom-3 in the NBA this past season. Cunningham was the No. 1 overall rated prospect entering the draft.
Detroit’s rebuild gets a huge boost with the addition of Cunningham, who has All-Star potential and is the type of combo guard that should thrive in today’s NBA. Along with Cunningham, the Pistons have plenty of strong assets for their rebuild in Saddiq Bey, Killian Hayes, Sekou Doumbouya and Isaiah Stewart. Detroit will also have plenty of cap flexibility to potentially build around a core of Cunningham, Bey and Hayes in the near future.
Prior to the draft, the Pistons reportedly traded C Mason Plumlee and the No. 37 pick to the Hornets for the No. 57 pick in what seems to be a salary dump.
Detroit Pistons 2021 NBA Draft picks
No. 1, first round: Cade Cunningham, G, OK State
No. 42, second round: Isaiah Livers, G, Michigan
No. 52, second round: Luka Garza, F, Iowa
No. 57, second round (via CHA): Balsa Koprivica, C, Florida State
Fantasy basketball outlook
Cade Cunningham — The OK State product will be a fantasy asset out the gate for the Pistons. We should expect Cunningham to start at guard and be the primary ball-handler for Detroit in Year 1, giving him plenty of upside to win Rookie of the Year. He should be viewed primarily as a go-to scorer with rebounding chops and the ability to stretch the floor a bit. Expect his playmaking ability to evolve in the NBA, though the Pistons roster could limit Cunningham’s ceiling a bit.