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Oklahoma State point guard Cade Cunningham said last week that he was excited to join the Detroit Pistons and get to work with the organization expected to select him in the NBA draft.
On Thursday, that came to fruition as the Pistons drafted Cunningham with the No. 1 overall pick, ending any doubt as to who would be the first player taken. He was widely expected to be the choice once the Pistons won the draft lottery last month, and he now heads to Detroit.
Cunningham only agreed to visit with the Pistons ahead of the draft, a decision that was made because he felt as though he should have been the first player chosen. While he was long considered to be the pick, Cunningham was still quite excited with the selection.
— NBA (@NBA) July 30, 2021
Pistons general manager Troy Weaver said previously the organization would be thorough in the pre-draft process and leave no stone unturned. The team met recently with some of the other top prospects, but informed Cunningham of its decision to take him on Thursday morning.
Cunningham, who will turn 20 in September, averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.6 steals in 27 games with the Cowboys. He became the first player in program history to be named to the Associated Press All-American First Team.
The 6-foot-8 standout is confident the Pistons can help him take the next step in his development. He pointed to the success that Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart experienced last season as a prime example of what the Pistons’ training staff can accomplish.
He enters the NBA as a prospect that could develop into a generational player given his skillset on the court. With some help from the Pistons, and their development system, Cunningham could make an even bigger jump on the court soon enough.