- The Detroit Pistons won the NBA’s annual draft lottery. As a result, they get the first selection in the 2021 NBA Draft.
- Houston, Cleveland, Toronto and Orlando will receive the other picks in the top five.
- Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham is projected by many to the be No. 1 overall pick.
The Detroit Pistons were at one point among the marquee franchises in the NBA. Over the past decade they’ve lost a lot of their swagger. The Pistons have won three NBA Championships with the most recent coming in 2003-2004 but they haven’t made it past the first round since 2007-2008. They’ve only made the playoffs twice in the past 12 years and were swept in the first round both times. Overall, they’re currently on a 14 game losing streak in the NBA playoffs.
On Monday, the team received a much needed break as they won the NBA’s annual draft lottery. This gives them the right to select first overall in the 2021 NBA Draft. The Houston Rockets will select second followed by the Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto Raptors and Orlando Magic. Here’s a full rundown of the lottery picks that were determined on Monday night:
- Detroit Pistons
- Houston Rockets
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Toronto Raptors
- Orlando Magic
- Oklahoma City Thunder
- Golden State Warriors (from Minnesota)
- Orlando Magic (from Chicago)
- Sacramento Kings
- New Orleans Pelicans
- Charlotte Hornets
- San Antonio Spurs
- Indiana Pacers
- Golden State Warriors
The Pistons didn’t have a pick higher than 7th in 2020 but they had three total first round selections which enabled them to add much needed depth and talent. 2020 selections were Killian Hayes (7th), Isaiah Stewart (16th) and Saddiq Bey (19th). Detroit has not had a top five NBA draft pick since 2003 when they selected Darko Milicic with the #2 overall pick. They had a #3 pick in 1994 which they used to select Grant Hill. They haven’t had the first overall selection since 1970 when they drafted legendary center Bob Lanier.
Pistons general manager Troy Weaver is excited to further upgrade the team’s personnel:
“Obviously we get to add another wing player to the restoration process. We’re excited to be in this position. But it means that we’ve got a lot of work to do and we’re going to be diligent about it. But it always helps to be able to add the number one pick.”
The Houston Rockets finished with the NBA’s worst record but will select second overall. Cleveland has the third pick after selecting fifth in the previous two drafts. The Toronto Raptors might be in the best shape of any lottery team. Although they ended a streak of seven straight playoff appearances though that was more of a function of the COVID-19 pandemic than anything else. The team was forced to play in Florida due to travel restrictions and suffered their own outbreak of the coronavirus mid season. They’ll select fourth hoping to add a talented young player to a nucleus consisting of guard Fred VanVleet and forwards Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby.
As for the player that Detroit will select first overall there are several options. Oklahoma State forward Cade Cunningham is considered by most to be the top player available though Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs, USC forward Evan Mobley and NBA G-League guard Jalen Green could also end up going first overall.