NBA Draft 2021: Josh Giddey knows Warriors are 'dream' fit for him


NBC Sports Bay Area 21 July, 2021 - 11:13am 10 views

When is the NBA Draft 2021?

The 2021 NBA Draft is set for Thursday, July 29 at 8:00 p.m. ET at the Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets. NBA CA2021 NBA Draft: Key prospects to know in the mid- to late-lottery range

Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs, Jonathan Kuminga, Scottie Barnes, Davion Mitchell, James Bouknight, Keon Johnson, Franz Wagner, Josh Giddey, Jalen Johnson, Corey Kispert, Moses Moody and Kai Jones received the first batch of 15 invites last week, with Alperen Sengun, Cameron Thomas, Ziaire Williams, Chris Duarte and Isaiah Jackson receiving the final five nods.

The green room is a staging area in front of the NBA draft podium where players, families and agents await the moment when commissioner Adam Silver calls a player's name upon selection.

The process of deciding which players to invite to the draft involves communication with general managers of teams picking throughout the first round. Teams are asked to vote on the top 25 players they expect will have their names called first. This is to ensure that players aren't sitting for very long under the bright lights before a national television audience as the second round approaches.

Receiving an invitation is considered a positive sign for a player's draft stock, although there have been plenty of instances in the past of prospects falling to the second round while sitting in the green room.

All 20 players invited are projected to be picked in the top 25 of the latest ESPN mock draft.

Usman Garuba, considered a likely top-20 pick, was invited but was forced to decline because he is currently with the Spanish national team as part of its preparations for the Tokyo Olympics.

Read full article at NBC Sports Bay Area

NBA Mock Draft: Latest Projections for All 60 Picks

Sports Illustrated 21 July, 2021 - 01:01pm

As always, this mock attempts to project what the draft might look like on a given day, and is based primarily off of my own intel and conversations with executives, scouts, and others around the NBA. As usual, we’ll update it further as things develop heading into next week. Let’s get into it.

With nine days until the draft, the broad expectation around the NBA is that the Pistons will end up staying put and select Cunningham. He visited with Detroit on Monday, which was reportedly the only predraft trip he planned to take. That doesn’t mean Detroit is done exploring trade options, but it does feel like the reflection of a somewhat limited market. While the Pistons might like to trade back one or two spots—the most logical partner being the Rockets—the sense I’ve gotten from league sources is that interest from other teams in the No. 1 pick hasn’t been robust enough to seriously tempt the Pistons. That’s partially a byproduct of the quality of the draft’s top prospects: Houston and Cleveland can simply stand pat, comfortably select Jalen Green or Evan Mobley, and feel good.

In the end, the option of staying at No. 1 and taking Cunningham remains the simplest one for the Pistons. He’s widely viewed as the safest choice, with a versatile skillset tailor-made to augment a modern offense, even if he’s not a full-time lead guard in the long run. Cunningham can play and excel out of a wide range of spots on the floor, unusual for a prospect his age, and makes the process of adding talent that much more malleable in the long run. His improved jumper significantly improves his outlook as a scorer, and his rare intangibles and unselfish approach to winning basketball are increasingly difficult to find. There’s no faulting the Pistons for making the easy choice here, and Cunningham has the ability to change the course of the franchise.

Much of the chatter I’ve heard the past couple weeks has suggested that the Rockets prefer Green to Evan Mobley at this spot. There have been reports in recent weeks that Houston has interest in trading up with Detroit to take Cunningham, but the vast majority of speculation from other teams has centered on Green as the presumptive fit at No. 2. His ability to create his own shot gives him a chance to be a legitimate offensive fulcrum, and the Rockets are positioned to take a swing on upside. For what it’s worth, Green’s camp is thought to prefer Houston as a destination, rather than landing in Cleveland one pick later. Devin Booker’s evolution from promising scorer into a well-rounded perimeter centerpiece provides a blueprint for Green’s development, with his exceptional athleticism giving him major upside.

There appears to be a pretty good chance Mobley is available here at No. 3, which would be an extremely fortunate outcome for Cleveland. The Cavs are thought to covet Mobley here, and while there should be a degree of interest from opposing teams hoping to move up and grab him, this feels like an ideal match. He’d be a near-perfect fit with the Cavaliers, bringing legitimate versatility to operate on the perimeter and protect the interior alongside Jarrett Allen in a jumbo-sized frontcourt. He’s a low-maintenance, high-impact performer and a potential franchise centerpiece, and two-way bigs of his ilk don’t come around all that often. This shouldn’t be an overly complicated choice for the Cavs, and Mobley could end up being their best player in relatively short order. The high defensive floor and intriguing offensive ceiling make him an outstanding prospect.

The general belief that Cunningham, Green and Mobley will be the first three players drafted places Toronto in a position of strength operating at No. 4. The clarity as to which players will be available—particularly Suggs and Scottie Barnes—makes this a valuable selection in the event the Raptors decided to move back. But there’s a great case to be made for simply staying put, as Suggs remains an excellent fit for their roster and organizational culture, and looks like an ideal replacement for Kyle Lowry, who may move on in free agency. He’s an elite-level athlete, hard-nosed competitor, and comfortable sacrificing shots in the interest of team success. Consensus says he’s the best prospect available here, and the Raptors shouldn’t have any qualms walking away with him.

With two top-eight picks in hand, the Magic have a lot of say over the flow of the lottery at the moment, with enough ammunition to feasibly attempt to move up from here. But with the top three teams most likely entrenched in those spots and comfortable with the players on the board, at the moment it feels more likely Orlando makes this pick. While their front office is notoriously airtight with its intentions, there’s a level of belief around the NBA that the Magic covets Barnes at this spot. On paper, that makes a lot of sense. Barnes would be a strong match for Orlando, possessing the length and versatility that fits their traditional draft ethos, and a galvanizing personality that could help stabilize their young locker room. A frontcourt pairing of Barnes and Jonathan Isaac as a backbone for the rest of the team is pretty intriguing in concept.

There’s been an increasing amount of chatter among rival teams connecting Bouknight to the Thunder at No. 6, and in any scenario, it appears unlikely he falls past No. 8. Oklahoma City is positioned to take a gamble on upside and can pair him with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in a dynamic young backcourt, with Bouknight likely afforded some room to expand his playmaking skills and operate with freedom. He’s arguably the most polished scorer in the draft as things stand, with real creativity finishing in the paint and creating shots, and teams expect he’ll be more than adequate as a jump shooter, pointing to some legitimate star potential if everything breaks correctly. Bouknight’s elbow injury and end-of-season struggles never truly suppressed his draft stock, as he’s had plenty of believers around the NBA all season, and has affirmed that confidence over the course of the pre-draft process.

Keep in mind that the Thunder possess copious future draft picks and tradable young players in addition to Nos. 16 and 18 in this draft: they have ample ammunition to move around in the draft if they want. As usual, they’re a team to keep an eye on as draft night gets closer.

While Kuminga remains one of the highest-upside prospects in the draft his range is now more comfortably assumed to be 6-8, and there’s a real chance he’s available to the Warriors here at No. 7. While league sources have pegged Davion Mitchell and James Bouknight as fits for Golden State here, in this scenario, it’s Kuminga who falls. Mitchell’s NBA-ready, defensive-oriented mindset is sure to be tempting for the Warriors, who need to improve the roster with Steph Curry entering a contract year, and having missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons. Expect the Warriors to seriously explore trading their lottery picks to improve the team in the short-term, but their loaded cap sheet may limit some of what they can do in that respect. But if Kuminga makes it to this pick—which was not widely expected a month ago—Golden State will face a difficult choice.

There’s only so far a player with Kuminga’s physical tools and scoring upside can slip, but he also hasn’t done much to truly bolster his stock of late, which has contributed to the realistic possibility he drops into this part of the Top 10. His decision to end his G League season early rather than play through a minor injury didn’t help his perception. Kuminga’s combination of improving skills and athletic gifts still set him apart from the vast majority of his peers, and if he shoots it better and becomes a more disciplined defender, there's a very high ceiling.

The Magic are widely believed to be open to trading this pick, but there’s also a sense that the asking price may be somewhat steep. Johnson is a major risk-reward pick, but his considerable ceiling could enhance Orlando’s roster, as a stellar defender and athlete who can add value as a high-level supporting piece, even if he doesn’t fully turn the corner as a go-to scorer. Johnson needs to become a better shooter and refine his offensive game to maximize his considerable potential, but has better feel than a typical project wing, and a defensive mentality that should expedite his pathway to useful minutes. The fact the Magic have two picks should help them feel comfortable taking a big swing here.

Wagner’s range appears to have stabilized in the back half of the Top 10, and he makes a good deal of sense as a fit for Sacramento, with good positional size, great instincts on both ends of the floor, and an ideal complementary skill set to accentuate the players around him. The Kings are building around De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton but need frontcourt help, and adding a ball-mover like Wagner who has the chops to beef up a leaky defense seems like an ideal fit. Although he never fully broke out as a scorer at Michigan, Wagner’s versatility has made him a popular commodity, with a mature floor game that isn’t predicated on volume shooting. He’d be a strong match here.

As New Orleans prepares to mount a legitimate playoff run next season, expect the Pelicans to explore options involving this pick to improve the roster and expedite their rebuilding process, while revamping the supporting cast around Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. Mitchell’s intangibles, defensive acumen and reputation as a gamer should hold obvious appeal to a team that has frequently struggled on the defensive end, and with late-game decision making. While New Orleans doesn’t necessarily need another guard, Mitchell’s skill set differs significantly from the offensive-minded Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Kira Lewis. Mitchell could come off the board before this, with the Warriors thought to be heavily interested. But the fit here makes sense if the Pelicans stay put.

Given the state of their roster, the Hornets can hypothetically go a number of directions here, including potentially trading back to add extra draft picks, making them an intriguing swing team in the lottery. They do have an obvious need for a young big, and Jones could be available to them here as an attractive option. Jones’ potential to knock down jumpers, finish lobs and protect the paint—coupled with unusual athletic gifts and skill flashes—make him one of the higher-upside options on the board in this part of the lottery. He never an especially consistent producer at Texas, and will still be very much a project for whoever drafts him. This is likely the very high end of Jones’ range, which runs into the teens, but he’s a pretty seamless hypothetical fit in Charlotte, where he’d likely benefit from playing as a lob target for LaMelo Ball.

With Keldon Johnson emerging as a starting-caliber piece alongside Dejounte Murray and Derrick White (both of whom are under team control for the long run), the Spurs have a nice array of young talent on the roster, and some flexibility to add pieces moving forward. San Antonio could use a true knockdown shooter on the wing, with Lonnie Walker and Devin Vassell still developing. Adding an experienced, consistent prospect like Kispert—who might provide immediate help off the bench—would be a viable direction with this pick. While Kispert isn’t a naturally creative player, that won’t be too much of a concern considering the guard talent already on the roster. It’s unlikely he falls out of the lottery at this point.

A huge throng of NBA executives recently traveled to Las Vegas to watch Giddey with the Australian national team, and he appears likely to come off the board somewhere in the back half of the lottery. The Pacers are a nice theoretical match due to their need for another ballhandler to take pressure off of Malcolm Brogdon. Giddey is one of the draft’s best passers, has terrific size and feel for the game, and has improved his shooting to the point where it feels workable. While more of a complementary playmaker than dynamic scorer, he’s extremely advanced for a teenager and doesn’t turn 19 until October. It’s tough to find legitimate point forward types, and Giddey’s strengths feel translatable into a useful bench role at worst.

Having this second lottery pick is a luxury for the Warriors, who don’t expressly need to add two rookies to their roster, much less one. I’m not especially confident Golden State ends up keeping this selection, with trading back or out a possibility. Johnson is an intriguing buy-low opportunity at this point in the draft, his stock having taken a hit after a rocky experience at Duke. He entered the year widely projected as a Top 10 pick, and it’s difficult to find players with his blend of size and ball skills in a given draft. Johnson has his warts, particularly his inconsistent jumper, and how teams weigh the intel here will ultimately determine how far he falls. But he should be an appealing reclamation project in the right situation, with a pretty clear pathway to an NBA role if things break correctly.

Sengün will make for one of the more fascinating case studies in this draft, with an impressive, outlier-type statistical profile after a dominant season in Turkey, but a post-up centric game that doesn’t necessarily vibe with the aesthetics of the modern NBA. He’s clearly a lottery-level talent, though not a fit for every team’s style of play. But a player with Sengün’s type of pedigree rarely falls too far in the draft, and while he may not hear his name called in the lottery, he shouldn’t fall too far into the teens. He’d be an intriguing option for the Wizards, who need help up front, are comfortable with international talent, and should be focused on adding the best available prospect here given the uncertainty surrounding the long-term fate of the roster.

Knowing Sam Presti’s tendency to move around in the draft, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Thunder deal one or both of their picks in the teens, whether consolidating them to move up, or trading them to other teams in exchange for future assets. If the Thunder wind up using these picks in the teens, Moody is an interesting fit, with a promising jumper and good size for his position that bodes well for his long-term viability on the wing. He’s still at an early stage of his development, and was predictably a bit inconsistent this season as he explored his shot-making potential. Moody is not especially explosive or creative as a playmaker, so his ceiling is strongly tied to his jumper. While he’s still a ways from helping an NBA team in a meaningful way, Moody is a solid bet in the mid-first round, with a clear pathway to a useful role given time. The Thunder could afford him immediate minutes and let him experiment.

Duarte’s range starts in the teens and runs into the early 20s, but he’s in demand as a plug-and-play wing with an NBA-ready skill set. He should be able to give Memphis immediate minutes off the bench, as a bigger floor-spacer who fits their recent M.O. of emphasizing college experience over theoretical teenage upside. Duarte is one of the top shooters in the draft, and a capable defender and ball-mover, with a mature style of play befitting his advanced age. While he struggles a bit to separate and create his own shot and isn’t supremely athletic, he’s smart and consistent enough to stick in the league a long time, particularly considering the premium placed on his skill set.

Garuba is exceptionally well-tested for his age, having cut his teeth in Real Madrid’s senior team and the Spanish national team and boasting strong physical tools and a defensive mindset. He should have utility as a legitimately switchable ball screen defender, and while he’s not big enough to moonlight at center in more than a situational capacity, he’s physically ready for the NBA and appears to have a good understanding of what his role is. However, Garuba’s pathway to becoming a legitimate starter requires a real evolution on offense, where he’s unlikely to be featured, but is a quality cutter and could add value as a passer and shooter with continued development. He’s got a chance to be more than a specialist, and would add a different dimension to Oklahoma City’s young roster.

There’s a good deal of chatter around the league that the Knicks are aiming to combine their two first-round picks to move up in the draft, so it’s possible they don’t wind up making this selection. Murphy has gathered as much steam as any prospect in the draft over the last few months, and now looks like a good bet to hear his name called in the teens. He’s successfully showcased impressive run-jump athleticism on the workout circuit and has convinced teams he’ll be a passable defender who plays with poise, can knock down open threes, and has untapped upside to offer. Murphy isn’t a great ballhandler or creative passer, but has a good sense of his own strengths and weaknesses and shouldn’t be a major liability. Scouts I’ve spoken with have frequently used Phoenix’s Cam Johnson as an analog. He’d be a good fit for New York if they stand pat.

Word around the NBA is that Williams may have worked his way back into a Top 20 selection, with a series of strong workouts helping his standing after a tough year at Stanford cratered his stock. His history of inconsistent play and recurring injuries led many to peg him as a player with legitimate bust potential, but Williams is extremely skilled for his size, measured at 6' 9" in shoes at the combine, and has always been an impressive player in practice-type settings. Concerns about his ability to put pressure on the rim and overall consistency persist. But Williams’ upside is still appealing from a development perspective, and teams looking to take a shot on talent will have serious interest in this part of the draft. He’d be an interesting addition to Atlanta’s personnel, offering more size on the perimeter and more shooting to complement Trae Young.

While Jackson is inarguably raw and not particularly skilled, his athletic tools have sparked first-round interest, the hope being that he’ll evolve into a viable rim-running, shot-blocking, end-to-end big. Jackson is a ways away from reaching that level—he’s extremely foul-prone and scores almost entirely within gameflow—and there’s been a bit of an ideological resurgence surrounding bigs with offensive skills, which makes his fit a bit more selective. New York is facing an extension decision on Mitchell Robinson next summer, and adding depth up front through the draft could be prudent, depending on what the Knicks decide to do with their two picks.

The Lakers could use an offensive spark at guard, and should have options available to them here to address that if they choose. While Thomas’s inflexible, shoot-first approach has been a divisive topic and a long-standing challenge to evaluate, he’s inarguably one of the more consistent, accomplished scorers in the draft. The questions here primarily surround the translatability of his playstyle, and his general disinterest in defense and sharing the ball. But the Lakers can use him to bolster the offense and trust that he’ll fall in line on a veteran team. It will fall on Thomas to become a more malleable player in the long run, but his production is hard to knock, and he’ll have much easier shot opportunities coming his way on a good team, in theory.

The Rockets’ two picks in the 20s are a key swing spot in the late first round, with Houston presumably open to moving one or both depending on what’s available. Hyland has been gathering steam after a strong showing at the combine, and looks to be working his way into this range of the draft. While he’s a scorer by nature and quite slender for an NBA two-guard, his ability to make tough shots is hard to find, and has helped separate him from the large pack of guards in the 20-40 range. Hyland’s stock appears to have moved into first-round territory at this point.

This second Rockets pick is thought to be available in trades, as the Rockets attempt to maneuver with their two selections in the 20s. After a strong showing at the combine and impressive pre-draft process behind closed doors, Primo now looks like a lock to land in the first round, with his range beginning in the teens and running into the 20s. He’s demonstrated a more diverse offensive game than he showed in a spot-up role at Alabama, with combo guard skills and an impressive level of poise and focus. The fact he’s the youngest draft-eligible prospect adds a layer of appeal as a long-term project, and he’s in the mix for teams that can afford to be patient. Primo has starter-level upside in the long run.

The Clippers can go a few directions here, but they need depth at guard, and Cooper’s special passing ability and high-level handle appears to be keeping his stock afloat in the 18-25 range. Those unique traits have helped mitigate his diminutive stature and disinterest in defense. While he most likely profiles as a backup due to those drawbacks and a streaky jump shot, Cooper does have the potential to be a very good one, with a demonstrable knack for getting into the paint and drawing fouls. There’s a point in the draft where his playmaking skills become worth the gamble, and on a team with established talent like the Clippers, Cooper should be in a better position to succeed.

With the news that Butler has been medically cleared by the NBA, teams generally expect he’ll be drafted in the late first round or early second. The issue now is that team doctors will have to sign off on drafting him, which is a piece of the puzzle that can’t truly be gauged in a speculative sense, and will affect where he can and cannot land. The prospect of medical risk may cap how high he’ll go on draft night, but Butler is a clear first-round talent and a steady, proven contributor who can play both guard spots capably. Teams have always raved about his intangibles. Denver is a team that has historically been willing to take on risk, and Butler is arguably the best prospect available here in this scenario.

Sharpe has built himself a bit of buzz around the league with a strong predraft process, having worked himself into great shape and demonstrating a much more projectable jump shot than teams expected. He’s a good bet to land in the first round, and could go higher than this, particularly given the dearth of quality bigs in this range. While not supremely athletic or skilled with the ball, Sharpe is a highly competitive, high-effort rebounder with palpable offensive upside tied to his passing and floor-spacing potential. The Nets could use some additional muscle up front, and Sharpe’s feel and toughness could be appealing here as an eventual rotation piece.

Daryl Morey has never been particularly attached to his draft picks, and history suggests the Sixers will entertain offers for this pick, making it an interesting spot for a team to grab a player who unexpectedly slips to the back of the first round. Considering the large glut of guards pencilled in all over this part of the draft, it’s inevitable that a few of them will fall. While Mann has a bit of a wide range at this point in time, he’s a first-round type talent with a quality jumper and nice size for his position. The knock on him is that he’s a bit one-dimensional, as he’s more scorer than setup man, doesn’t play a physical style and isn’t known for being a committed defender, fancying himself as a perimeter creator and most comfortable with the ball in his hands. But Mann does have unique ability to create space off the dribble and score, and he remains a good bet to come off the board in the 20-30 range.

Springer is another guard with a relatively wide range at this point in time, but remains an intriguing first-round option in this part of the draft, considering his youth and productive moments at Tennessee. He’s one of the more divisive players in the class, as scouts remain split on where his upside lies, without one elite skill, but a range of strengths that could feasibly coalesce into a starting-caliber guard. Springer should defend capably, but will have to expand his offensive skill set and continue improving his jumper to better suit his likely role as an off-guard. He’s worthy of strong consideration in the 20s, but other guards have made stronger pushes for draft position over the past month.

Grimes was one of the biggest winners at the combine and has played his way into first-round consideration, with a well-rounded perimeter game and strong intangibles that have earmarked him as a tailor-made NBA role player. Grimes reinvented himself at Houston as a ball-moving, complementary jump shooter, and plays with a level of maturity and confidence that should endear him to playoff teams in this part of the draft. He’d be a good fit as an extra playmaker and shooter in Utah’s system.

31. Bucks (from Rockets): Ayo Dosunmu, G, Illinois

32. Knicks (from Pistons): Miles McBride, PG, West Virginia

33. Magic: J.T. Thor, F, Auburn

34. Thunder: Jason Preston, PG, Ohio

35. Pelicans (from Cavs): Joel Ayayi, G, Gonzaga

36. Thunder (from Wolves): Josh Christopher, SG, Arizona State

37. Pistons (from Raptors): Isaiah Todd, PF, G League Ignite

38. Bulls (from Pelicans): AJ Lawson, G/F, South Carolina

39. Kings: Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, F, Villanova

40. Pelicans: Joe Wieskamp, SG, Iowa

41. Spurs: Juhann Begarin, SG, Paris Basket

42. Pistons (from Hornets): Herbert Jones, F, Alabama

43. Pelicans (from Wizards): Rokas Jokubaitis, PG, Zalgiris

44. Nets (from Pacers): BJ Boston, SG, Kentucky

45. Celtics: Austin Reaves, G, Oklahoma

46. Raptors (from Grizzlies): David Johnson, G, Louisville

47. Raptors (from Warriors): Amar Sylla, F, Oostende

48. Hawks (from Heat): Aaron Henry, SG, Michigan State

49. Nets (from Hawks): Charles Bassey, C, Western Kentucky

50. 76ers (from Knicks): Kessler Edwards, F, Pepperdine

51. Grizzlies (from Blazers): Neemias Queta, C, Utah State

53. Pelicans (from Mavericks): Justin Champagnie, F, Pittsburgh

54. Pacers (from Bucks): Greg Brown, F, Texas

55. Thunder (from Nuggets): Daishen Nix, PG, G League Ignite

56. Hornets (from Clippers): Vrenz Blijenbergh, F, Antwerp

57. Hornets (from Nets): Luka Garza, C, Iowa

59. Nets (from Suns): Isaiah Livers, F, Michigan

60. Pacers (from Jazz): Sandro Mamukelashvili, F, Seton Hall

Is Jalen Johnson the perfect fit for the Spurs in the 2021 NBA Draft Lottery?

Pounding The Rock 21 July, 2021 - 01:01pm

Noah Magaro-George and Walker Bailey break down Jalen Johnson, discuss his fit in San Antonio, and determine whether or not PATFO should trade up in the draft.

After missing the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time during the Gregg Popovich era, there’s much for the Silver and Black to consider if they wish to restore their status as perennial title contenders. Choosing the right player with the 12th overall pick is only part of the equation, and if they hit a home run, their trajectory could skyrocket sooner than anticipated.

Fellow Pounding the Rock writer Walker Bailey joins me on this edition of the Alamo City Limits Podcast to break down 19-year-old combo forward Jalen Johnson and his potential fit with the Spurs. We also address whether or not PATFO should aggressively seek trade up for a top-five pick and which player they should target if they pull the trigger on a deal.

Pistons To Work Out Jalen Green, Jalen Suggs 21 July, 2021 - 01:01pm

After hosting Cade Cunningham for a visit, the Pistons are set to bring in two more top prospects – Jalen Green and Jalen Suggs – for private workouts in the coming days, according to Jonathan Givony and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Sources tell ESPN’s duo that Detroit would also like to bring in Evan Mobley, but the team has yet to schedule a visit for the USC big man.

The fact that the Pistons are conducting workouts with top prospects besides Cunningham shouldn’t come as a surprise. While the Oklahoma State star is widely expected to be the No. 1 pick in the draft, general manager Troy Weaver is doing his due diligence on all possibilities, including trading down from No. 1.

Even if Detroit has already decided to stay put and select Cunningham, it doesn’t hurt to bring in other top prospects — if Green, Suggs, and Mobley end up with other teams, this will be the only opportunity the Pistons have for years to meet with them and gather first-hand information on them.

According to Givony and Wojnarowski, Cunningham doesn’t intend to meet with any other teams besides the Pistons, while Green’s only other workout will be with the Rockets, who hold the No. 2 pick.

Did you stretch properly for that reach?

A steady, known commodity in Cade or the high-wire, potential superstar in Green.

Methinks, Weaver will go for Green + multiple 1st’s from the ROCKETS.

I should suggest that each has a equal level of reach. I wouldn’t think that NCAA is leaps ahead of the G league.

Green has proven how good he is even in a condensed 15-game season down in Florida. No one besides Houston is going to be able to move up to #1, the Pistons don’t want to miss out on both Cade and Green. It’s just a matter of how much they’re willing to give up to move up one spot. Green is probably a better fit in Detroit so they should lessen their demands to facilitate the trade.

It has nothing to do with what CC thinks of DET or any other team. Players meet with teams solely to prevent losing draft position (which is $$). Players don’t orchestrate trade ups. He meets with DET to prevent slipping past #1. He would meet with HOU only to prevent slipping past #2. If he’s not worried about slipping past #2, he doesn’t meet with HOU or obviously anyone else.

It’s not a huge difference in money between going #1 and #2 (about $1M/year).

Of course to the rest of us $1M is definitely a lot of money, but not these guys.

I love Green and Mobley. But seriously lols. Pistons need to stop the finagling. Cade is guaranteed the next one. He’s a perfect three for Pistons. Bey can be their sixth man. Hayes and Cade are excellent playmakers. Even if you take Cade. You can just wait and see who overpays for him. But I just take Cade. Stop the nonsense please.

my guy any good GM kicks the tires and does their due diligence.

No one is ever a guaranteed anything except for LeBron and AD types. It’s certainly a near-guarantee than Cade is going to be a well above average starter, but a superstar? Not guaranteed.

I’d still take him if I were the Pistons, but I can understand it if they end up trading down to 2 and getting significantt assets.

Cade is probably the guy. 90% sure but since OKC has 1000 1st round picks, you never know what is going to be offered. If OKC offers the Pistons 5 first round picks and somehow one of those picks is in the top 4, he takes it. C’mon Jalen Suggs and multiple 1st round picks would give him a moment of pause and he could pull the trigger. I would take Suggs and multiple 1st round picks

Some of my favorite lines are showing up as the draft draws closer.

OKC doesn’t have a top 4 pick to even offer. Suggs is just due diligence. Detroit 99.5% odds they stay put and draft Cade. If they did trade it would be no lower than 3. Toronto won’t give meet Detroit’s demands to move up from 4.

Other line I saw is that Detroit needs to lower its demands but why? Bow down to the major markets? Nah. If he turns into a superstar he will be in Detroit for 8-10 years. Detroit has proven they’re not cheap when it comes to paying players so if he is good they’ll take care of him. Really though, lots of fans just don’t want to see a major talent in a smaller market. Especially big market fans. They want the superstars in Miami, New York, LA, Chicago, Houston, Orlando , Dallas because those teams get the big network games. Big market fans don’t care about the Milwaukee’s , Detroit’s, Charlotte’s. What everyone fails to see is that these small market teams have some of the most ravenous mouth foaming die hard fans out there and that is good for the NBA.

Detroit Pistons: Cade Cunningham spotted in Detroit

PistonPowered 21 July, 2021 - 01:01pm

Cade Cunningham #2 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

It seems like 1,000 years since the Detroit Pistons won the NBA Draft lottery and the right to draft Cade Cunningham with the first overall pick.

Since then there have been daily rumors about which teams are trying to trade up or about how Troy Weaver secretly likes some other prospect more and is working on a blockbuster deal to trade the number one pick.

But the truth is that is unlikely to happen, as Cunningham is the most complete prospect in the NBA Draft and a guy who has superstar written all over him.

The Detroit Pistons are nearly certain to take Cunningham in the NBA Draft, a fact which got slightly more real yesterday when he was spotted hanging out in Detroit.

Cade Cunningham’s camp always said that they were only going to work out for one team, and that team would be whichever one got the number one pick.

It appears Cunningham’s workout is approaching, as he was spotted by some fans going to a Tigers’ game.

📸: @brennanjones40

— Woodward Sports Network (@woodwardsports) July 20, 2021

Cunningham was reportedly attending the game with several Pistons including Saddiq Bey and coach Dwane Casey.

It’s likely he’s just in town for his workout, but it’s nice to see him getting used to the Detroit culture.

The crowd at the Tigers’ game gave him a warm welcome. Several videos showed the crowd chanting “We Want CADE!” much to the delight of the young prospect.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that Cade Cunningham is 100 percent coming to Detroit but it’s a good sign that the Pistons are serious about drafting him with the number one pick.

We are just nine days from finding out for certain, but all signs point to Cade Cunningham being on the Detroit Pistons next season and it’s not too early to get excited about it.

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NBA shifts gears quickly, and now the offseason awaits

Detroit Free Press 21 July, 2021 - 01:01pm

There isn’t much of a break, of course.

The NBA draft, with the Pistons holding the No. 1 pick and presumably the chance to choose Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham, is fast-approaching on July 29. Free agency starts in less than two weeks, on Aug. 2. Most new contracts can be signed starting Aug. 6, and summer league opens two days after that.

“We made it. We crowned a champion,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said during the trophy ceremony in Milwaukee on Tuesday night. “I have to say playing through a pandemic required enormous resilience from all 30 teams. Thank you to every team and every player in the league for a tremendous season.”

And now, it’s already next season.

The good news is there’s a sense of normalcy, even amid a pandemic, and the NBA plans to continue along that path. Training camps will begin in late September, as is the new normal. Preseason games are back in early October, and the league’s 76th season — even though it’ll be celebrating its 75th anniversary all year long — starts Oct. 19.

The pandemic was the storyline of the entire season — obviously, since it has been the storyline across the entire planet — and no one in the NBA expects that next season will be able to start without the continued threat of COVID-19. Protocols will remain in place; how many and how strict will depend on the virus and what’s happening in the world in a few months.

Some issues to watch over the coming days and weeks:

Players missing time with injuries was a major issue this season and the offseason already has seen more news on that front.

Chris Paul helped Phoenix get to the NBA Finals and now has a decision to make about his $44 million option for next season. He could opt-in and stay, or opt-out — and quite possibly still stay, if he and the Suns work out a new deal.

There will be plenty of seasoned veterans on the market, including Kyle Lowry and Mike Conley. Leonard could be a free agent as well, if so inclined.

An interesting situation to watch will be Victor Oladipo, most recently of Miami and someone who would like to remain with the Heat. He’s coming off another leg surgery and may not be ready to start next season, which could certainly affect his number of suitors — and how much they will be willing to offer him.

Detroit picks first, followed by Houston, Cleveland and Toronto. Orlando has two picks in the top eight and Oklahoma City has three picks in the first 18 — the start of the massive haul of draft capital that the Thunder have acquired in recent years.

At minimum, seven teams will open next season with new coaches — Washington, New Orleans, Dallas, Indiana, Orlando, Boston and Portland.

The NBA still hasn’t said if the Toronto Raptors can truly be the Toronto Raptors again.

The inability for teams to cross the U.S.-Canada border during the pandemic meant the Raptors couldn’t get in or out of their home for games, so this season was spent with them displaced in Tampa, Florida. And while the Raptors spoke highly of Tampa, they don’t want to be back there.

There are good signs in that regard — among them, the Toronto Blue Jays will be playing their home games in Canada again starting July 30 — but there has been no official announcement yet from the league that NBA teams will be able to cross the border this fall.

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