Dreaming on the NBA Draft: How would Cade, Mobley and the Jalens fit with the Detroit Pistons?

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Detroit Bad Boys 17 July, 2021 - 02:00pm 6 views

When is the NBA Draft 2021?

NBA Draft 2021 presented by State Farm will be held on Thursday, July 29 at 8 p.m. ET. ESPN platforms will exclusively televise the NBA Draft for the 19th consecutive year and for the first time it will air on both ABC and ESPN. NBA.comNBA Draft 2021 to be held at Barclays Center on July 29

After languishing at the bottom of the standings in the past three seasons, the Cleveland Cavaliers have another chance to turn things around in the coming NBA draft.

The team already holds the No. 3 draft pick. But it is reportedly looking to add more picks in what is considered by many as one of the deepest draft classes in recent years.

“Would a Collin Sexton trade change anything here for the Cleveland Cavaliers?” wrote Zach Harper of The Athletic. “We’ve got some trade rumors ahead of Sexton’s contract extension negotiations. Until Kevin Love’s deal is off the books (or on someone else’s books), committing big money to Sexton, especially after the way he played last year, might not be the way they want to pack their payroll. If they can grab extra picks in the process, league sources say that’s something the Cavs are interested in doing. Maybe that means Sexton to the [New York] Knicks for their picks at No. 19 and No. 21 with some kind of framework happening there?”

Sexton has been the Cavs’ best scorer the past two seasons. Also, he might be their most valuable trade piece, aside from their draft picks. For Cleveland to acquire more draft assets, the organization would likely have to part ways with its young star.

The front office’s roster decisions in the next few months are going to be crucial as the franchise continues its rebuild.

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Orel is a freelance writer who is passionate about the NBA. He has followed the league since the late '90s and found increased interest in it in 2003 – when an 18-year-old prodigy from Akron, Ohio took the league by storm.

After languishing at the bottom of the standings in the past three seasons, the Cleveland Cavaliers have another chance...

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Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green among prospects invited to draft green room

Yahoo Sports 17 July, 2021 - 02:53pm

Dan Wetzel, Pat Forde, Pete Thamel

The NBA on Thursday announced that the draft would take place in person after it was mostly held virtually last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The league was then expected to invite the top prospects to attend from the green room.

While no player attended the draft in person last year, the league invited about 20 players in 2019 to the green room, including Zion Williamson, Ja Morant and R.J. Barrett. The league has so far invited 15 players this year, with five more expected to join the list next week.

The 15 players invited this year, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN.

With the draft less than two weeks away, teams are busy conducting interviews and workouts as most prospects continue to try to improve their stock. Prospects often work out with teams right up until the day before the draft before enjoying the festivities with family and friends.

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Sources: Jalen Green Expected To Go No. 2 Overall In 2021 NBA Draft

NBA Analysis Network 17 July, 2021 - 02:01pm

Opting to play in the G-League this year instead of going the traditional collegiate route to the NBA, Jalen Green finds himself as one of this year’s best draft prospects. The 6’6” shooting guard is arguably the most athletic player in this year’s draft class and with the 2021 NBA Draft just under two weeks away, his status as one of the first few guys off the board seems to be solidified. 

Sources have told NBA Analysis Network that Jalen Green is expected to be the No. 2 pick in this year’s draft by the Houston Rockets, assuming that they hold onto this draft pick and do not look to trade it. 

If they do not make a trade with the #Pistons for the No. 1 overall pick in the draft for Cade Cunningham, the #Rockets will be selecting Jalen Green No. 2 overall, a league source tells @HoopAnalysisNet.

Over the last few weeks, the Detroit Pistons, who own the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, have been fielding trade offers from various teams looking to move up in the draft. The Cavaliers, Pelicans, Thunder and even the Rockets have inquired about the Pistons draft pick and what it would take to move up in the draft, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony

Houston has been one of the more “aggressive” teams in terms of potentially moving up one spot in the draft and this is because of how much they love Cade Cunningham. The 6’8” point guard out of Oklahoma State is presumably this year’s No. 1 overall pick and given that John Wall is not the future of the Rockets, they have fallen in love with the idea of creating a young backcourt duo of Cade Cunningham and Kevin Porter Jr. 

However, if the Pistons do keep the No. 1 overall pick, they are expected to take Cunningham with no questions asked, even though they just drafted Killian Hayes 7th overall last year at the point guard position. If Houston is unable to strike a deal to move up, they will be more than happy with selecting Jalen Green to pair with Porter Jr. instead and then tend to favor him over Evan Mobley with the second overall pick. 

There is a growing sense around the league that the Houston Rockets favor Jalen Green over Evan Mobley with the second overall pick in this year’s draft, a source tells @HoopAnalysisNet.

There is a slim opportunity though that the Houston Rockets could look to strike a deal with Detroit right before the NBA Draft though. Moving Eric Gordon is something Houston would love to do this offseason, but finding a team to take on the three years, $58.7M remaining on his contract will be tough. Gordon is now 32-years-old and not worth this kind of money anymore based on his stats, but all throughout his career, he has been a consistent contributor on the offensive-end of the floor and he would bring immediate playoff experience to any team he could potentially be traded to. 

Trading Gordon, one of their late first-round picks this year at No. 23 or No. 24 overall, as well as a future first-round pick could be intensing enough to some teams picking later in the lottery like the Hornets, Spurs, Pacers and Warriors. Acquiring this extra lottery pick to pair with the second overall pick could be enough to convince the Detroit Pistons to relinquish their No. 1 overall pick, but again, the Pistons do like Cunningham’s potential and may not want to deal this pick afterall. 

Detroit was another team to be interested in Jalen Green as a possible draft choice, but if they hold onto this first overall pick, then they will be selecting Cunningham. This would then lead the Rockets to quickly draft Jalen Green with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, thus giving them the guy they have had their eyes on for months now. 

In 15 G-League games this year, Jalen Green averaged 17.9 points per game and shot 36.5% from three-point range. He is a really good playmaker, but because of his high motor and score-first mentality, he can be turnover prone at times. This is an easy fix though, especially if he is not the one having the ball up the court every possession

Jalen Green is exactly the kind of player the Houston Rockets need in their rotation and he has that “it” factor they need to find with this No. 2 overall pick. By adding Green, the Rockets would have their next young superstar that they can begin to build around for the foreseeable future. Assuming they do not make any trading involving the No. 2 overall pick, it seems like Jalen Green is going to be going to the Houston Rockets. 

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Thunder Draft: Could Houston Trade Back From No. 2?

Sports Illustrated 17 July, 2021 - 01:00pm

While it’s going to be extremely difficult to find a deal to move up to the first pick in effort to select Cade Cunningham, the second pick could be much more obtainable. 

Zach Harper of The Athletic reported last week that it’s believed the Houston Rockets have been fixated on Cunningham but arent willing to pay the price the Detroit Pistons are requesting for them to move up. If they’re not able to move up, Houston could look to trade out of No. 2 in exchange for a more definite young player, Harper says. 

In this draft, with pretty clear tiers of talent, it would take quite the haul for the Thunder to move up four spots. They’d need to be prepared to send multiple future first round picks as well as a proven, young player.

While that young player wouldn’t be Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, they’d have to consider someone like Lu Dort, Darius Bazley or Ty Jerome as part of the pick package to move up.

With that in mind, the Rockets will still more than likely stay put. As much as they’d like to move up a spot to take the superstar point guard in Cunningham, they will still have the ability to draft a franchise altering player in Jalen Green, Evan Mobley or Jalen Suggs rather than move down.

It won’t be easy, but Oklahoma City could certainly strike a deal with Houston on draft night if they aren’t able to move up to No. 1 overall. 

NBA draft history shows surprisingly little needed to get No. 1, but Pistons would want more

Piston Powered 17 July, 2021 - 10:30am

Oklahoma State Cowboys guard Cade Cunningham (2). Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

While much is made of the haul the Detroit Pistons can get for trading the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft, history shows it has taken surprisingly little to get the top pick.

While there have been all kinds of speculative stories about what the Detroit Pistons could get if they traded the No. 1 pick, one thing is becoming clear before the draft occurs on July 29.

The fact the Pistons still are holding on to No. 1 goes against historical trends for those willing to give it up. That just further shows they are not looking to trade.

A recent note in an overall draft article from The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor pretty much confirms as such:

This week there were reports that the Rockets, who hold the no. 2 pick, may want to trade up to no. 1, currently held by the Detroit Pistons. Houston would love to select Cade Cunningham, a 6-foot-8 playmaker from Oklahoma State. But league sources have emphasized in recent days that it’s highly likely the Pistons will just stay put and take Cunningham.

Another interesting section of O’Connor’s article was how few assets are generally needed to vault up into a higher draft pick:

The basic construction of the deal is a nearby pick, plus another pick or a young player.

The last time the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft was traded came in 2017, when the Boston Celtics, gave it to the Philadelphia 76ers. The price was that year’s No. 3 and a first-rounder of the Sacramento Kings in 2019 (in which they would take Romeo Langford at No. 14, the spot before Detroit got Sekou Doumbouya).

It did not seem much of a return for No. 1, but Celtics general manager Danny Ainge said at the time that was the best offer they received.

Of course, the best known recent deal involving top-five picks came in 2018. Dallas wanted Luka Doncic badly but at No. 5 they had no chance to get him. They gave up their first round pick in 2019 (from which Hawks took Cam Reddish) and the fifth pick. Atlanta then took Trae Young at No. 5.

The thread in both deals is that there was not a large chasm in ability between the players, at least in the opinion of the team with the higher pick.

Of course, we now know that Ainge had soured on consensus No. 1 player Markelle Fultz due to a poor workout in Boston, and and was going to take Jayson Tatum even if he stayed at No. 1.

The 2018 trade gave the Atlanta Hawks: Trae Young and Cam Reddish to give up a chance for  Doncic.

No question, Doncic is one of the best players in the NBA, but the Hawks this season made the Eastern Conference finals while the Mavericks lost in the first round. Would the Hawks reverse the trade if given a chance?

Twice the Pistons have been involved with the trading of the first pick in the NBA Draft. One time they traded for it, the other they gave it up. Neither deal went terribly well.

In 1950, the Boston Celtics had the No. 1 pick but general manager Red Auerbach had a problem signing their draft choice, Charley Share, a rare 6-foot-11 center in that era. The Pistons were having a similar problem getting Bill Sharman inked, a guard they picked in the dispersal draft of the Washington franchise.

Share played in a rival league for a year rather than go to Boston. Pistons owner Fred Zollner thought he could sign Share, so a swap of problem signings was arranged.

Share ended up being a mere role player for the Pistons, and in his third season was traded to the Hawks. Sharman was an eight-time All-Star for the Celtics.

In 1980, the Detroit Pistons had the worst record in the NBA. This was before the creation of the Draft Lottery so they would have had the No.1 pick automatically. However, coach/general manager Dick Vitale (Yes, Dicky V!) had traded Detroit’s first rounder before the season to Boston as part of the Bob McAdoo trade. The Pistons remained awful and McAdoo was gone in a couple of years.

The Celtics’ Auerbach used the No. 1 pick as part of a trade with the Warriors that gave them center Robert Parish and forward Kevin McHale. Combining with Larry Bird, Boston became the top team in the East for the rest of the decade, until the Detroit Pistons’ ‘Bad Boys’ knocked them off that perch.

History has shown that it does not take some massive offer of multiple draft picks and players to grab the No. 1 pick (or move up in the top five). The X factor is, does the team with the higher pick actually want to move it.

The fact Pistons GM Troy Weaver is being reportedly offered what would be considered, historically, a huge overpay, is the best indication yet Detroit intends to keep the No. 1 draft pick.

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NBA Draft Board: USC’s Evan Mobley

Sports Illustrated 17 July, 2021 - 07:00am

Mobley projects to be the best big man in this class with what he can bring to the table. A 7-footer, he has the versatility to dominate inside but can also bring the ball up the floor and knock down jumpers as the perfect modern big.

There’s not a more perfect fit to the mold of the ideal modern NBA center than Mobley. With the ability to play both power forward and center, he’s also a capable ball-handler and can bring it up the floor to push the tempo off the rebound. In fact, he was one of the best in the country in transition.

On the defensive side of the ball, Mobley has excellent instincts and should be able to defend multiple positions as a 7-footer. Overall, his natural feel for the game is off the charts, making him a good candidate for making the biggest impact on his team as a rookie.

While he’ll still be effective, Mobley doesn’t have the frame that projects him to ever be a bruiser inside. With a more finesse style of play and body, he may always be a thin center.

While Mobley is able to knock down 3-pointers, he could certainly improve on that end become more consistent. On the interior, he’ll need to add a few more go-to moves in the post with the level of competition he will face at the NBA level. 

Analysis: Evan Mobley draws eye-popping NBA DPOY comparison

Trojans Wire 17 July, 2021 - 03:41am

USC Trojans big man Evan Mobley has the attention of several NBA front offices. The Houston Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Toronto Raptors are all realistic options for Mobley in the draft.

Let’s be honest: It is highly unlikely he falls past the Raptors at No. 4 overall.

Seth Davis and Kelly Iko of The Athletic analyzed Mobley’s prospects. Davis gave a rather interesting NBA player comparison for Evan Mobley.

“I could see Mobley being in the Rudy Gobert mode defensively. He won’t be quite the rim protector that Gobert is, but I do think he could be more versatile defending the perimeter. Mobley will be an impactful NBA defender from Day 1.”

While Davis discussed that Mobley is best suited to play power forward, he also likened his defensive ability to Utah Jazz center and reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert.

To be honest, that isn’t a comparison many people draw, so Mobley has to be honored to hear that. On offense, Mobley is much more efficient and well-rounded than Gobert.

On defense, Mobley can guard the perimeter at a high level, and he could be a perfect stretch four in the NBA, which has become more and more common in recent years.

If Mobley can be even half the player Gobert is defensively, he will stick around in the NBA for quite some time–and that isn’t even taking into account his offensive repertoire.

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Detroit Pistons: Rockets are making a desperate push for the number one pick

Piston Powered 17 July, 2021 - 01:00am

The Detroit Pistons mascot Hooper (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

Since landing the first overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft Lottery, the Detroit Pistons have been the subject of many trade rumors around the league.

It is not unreasonable that these rumors have been floating around. Pistons GM Troy Weaver has stated he does not see a LeBron James type of franchise-changing player in this year’s draft class. After the lottery, the second-year GM made it known the first overall pick was not untouchable.

Most of the lottery teams have reached out to the Pistons front office, to gauge their interest in a potential trade for the number one pick. What these teams have likely found out is,  that Detroit’s asking price is a blockbuster deal they could not refuse.

The so-called ‘Godfather’ offer.

As the July 29th date of the NBA Draft nears, the prospect of Detroit sticking with the number one pick and selecting Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham becomes even more certain. Cunningham, a 6-8 point guard/forward whatever you want, has been the presumptive number one pick in this year’s draft class for over a year.

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While other teams may begin backing off of their push for the number one pick, one franchise appears to be relentless in their pursuit.

An article by The Athletic‘s Shams Charania (PAID SUBSCRIPTION NEEDED) has reported that the Houston Rockets are being aggressive in their chase for the first overall pick.

The Rockets have been aggressive in their pursuit of Detroit’s No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft and have also discussed guard Eric Gordon in trade scenarios, sources said.

At first glance, this report appears to indicate the Rockets are trying to dump their 32-year-old guard Eric Gordon onto the Pistons in a trade package for the number one pick. However, further clarification has determined the Rockets are looking to move Gordon in a separate trade, in order to obtain more trade assets to offer Detroit.

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Rumors: Cavs Could Be Locked In On Evan Mobley With No. 3 Pick

Cavs Nation 16 July, 2021 - 10:05am

While many believe USC star Evan Mobley is the second best prospect in the draft, it’s been reported that the Rockets don’t like the fit with him and Christian Wood. It opens up a possibility now that Mobley could be available when the Cavs pick at No. 3.

According to Zach Harper of The Athletic, if that’s the case, the Cavs would “probably be locked in” on Mobley with the third pick.

Some believe Evan Mobley is the second best player in this draft, and Houston’s not taking him because they don’t like the pairing with Christian Wood. But for the Cavs, moving Sexton out of the backcourt could potentially open up a pairing of Suggs and Darius Garland. It might unlock some catch-and-shoot options for Garland, too. Most likely, though, Mobley is the guy and they figure out what to do with Jarrett Allen’s restricted free agency.

At the end of his piece on the Cavs and their pick, the question is raised, “Do you expect a trade here?” Harper’s response:

I do, but not with this pick, necessarily. The Cavs are probably locked in on Mobley at No. 3.

Whether the Cavs stay put or trade back is one question. Whether they take Mobley if he’s available at three is a whole other topic. A lot could hinge on what happens with Collin Sexton in the lead up to the draft and potentially on draft night as well.

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