Detroit Pistons win NBA Draft lottery, will likely select Oklahoma State star Cade Cunningham

·3 min read

The Pistons won the Cade Cunningham sweepstakes.

For the first time in over 50 years, Detroit will pick first because the Ping Pong balls fell its way in Tuesday’s draft lottery, providing a hard-luck franchise its best shot of resurrection following a decade-plus of struggles.

The reward is likely Cunningham, the projected No. 1 pick who averaged over 20 points as an All-American freshman last season at Oklahoma State. The 6-foot-8 lead guard has drawn comparisons to Luka Doncic and Penny Hardaway.

If the Pistons draft Cunningham, he’ll join a young and inexperienced roster that finished last season at 20-52, the league’s second-worst record.

The Rockets, who owned the worst record, took the second pick, which was a good result considering it would’ve been conveyed to OKC if the pick fell out of the top-4. The Cavaliers, Raptors and Magic round out the top-5.

It’s considered a deep draft but gets more complicated after Cunningham, with Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs, USC’s Evan Mobley, Baylor’s Davion Mitchell and the G League’s Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga all considered top-10 picks.

The Pistons haven’t owned the first pick since drafting Hall of Famer Bob Lanier in 1970, although they since drafted second twice with Isiah Thomas (1981) and Darko Milicic (2003).

There wasn’t much hype surrounding this draft lottery, partially because Cunningham isn’t quite a can’t-miss NBA prospect, and also because the marquee franchises weren’t involved.

For the Knicks, Tuesday represented the first draft lottery without their participation since 2016 (when they would’ve been in the lottery except their pick was traded to Denver for Carmelo Anthony five years prior).

On Tuesday, their absence was explained by something more encouraging – their unexpected push to the fourth-seed in the Eastern Conference last season.

The Knicks could still trade up on draft night, which has been pushed back to July 29 to accommodate the pandemic schedule. They own the 19th, 21st and 32nd picks in the draft, but adding three rookies to an already young roster doesn’t make as much sense as packaging them for a trade.

The Nets have the 27th pick after finishing second in the East.

The Warriors, with Steph Curry flashing his MVP stroke last season and Klay Thompson soon returning from an Achilles tear, have two picks in the lottery (7th and 14th), leaving them with strong assets to deal for a win-now player to assist their push for another championship run.

The Bulls, meanwhile, the Bulls lost their top-3 protected lottery pick to the Magic, as part of their trade for Nikola Vucevic, because it landed eighth Tuesday.

The Thunder have three picks in the top-18.


1. Detroit Pistons

2. Houston Rockets

3. Cleveland Cavaliers

4. Toronto Raptors

5. Orlando Magic

6. OKC Thunder

7. Golden State Warriors

8. Orlando Magic

9. Sacramento Kings

10. New Orleans Pelicans

11. Charlotte Hornets

12. San Antonio Spurs

13. Indiana Pacers

14. Golden State Warriors

15. Washington Wizards

16. OKC Thunder

17. Memphis Grizzlies

18. OKC Thunder

19. New York Knicks

20. Atlanta Hawks

21. New York Knicks

22. L.A. Lakers

23. Houston Rockets

24. Houston Rockets

25. L.A. Clippers

26. Denver Nuggets

27. Brooklyn Nets

28. Philadelphia 76ers

29. Phoenix Suns

30. Utah Jazz

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting