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2021 NBA Draft: Date set for NBA draft that will define Detroit Pistons’ rebuild for years to come

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Circle this date and take the next day off of work to celebrate or mourn as appropriate

2020 NBA Draft Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The Detroit Pistons will know their fate on June 22 and will select a player that could well define their future on July 29.

The NBA Draft Lottery is scheduled for June 22 at 8:30 p.m. EST on ESPN while the NBA Draft will be held July 29 at 8 p.m. EST on TNT. The Detroit Pistons currently sport the second-worst record in the NBA at 12-33 and have lost eight of their past 10 games.

The NBA lottery odds are much flatter now, however, so the Pistons are statistically more likely to pick fifth overall than any other individual scenario. This was a move to prevent tanking, and we’ll reserve arguments on how well that is working or how fair that is for another date.

The Pistons, if you need reminding, have never jumped up in the draft order following an NBA lottery. The closest they came was the fateful 2003 lottery when the Memphis Grizzlies jumped to No. 2 and sent the pick to Detroit. I’m sure you don’t need reminding that the Pistons selected Darko Milicic in that draft with Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade going with the next three selections.

Detroit picked a good year to have one of the league’s worst records, lottery odds notwithstanding, as the upcoming NBA Draft is loaded with top-end prospects.

The two top picks seem likely to be Cade Cunningham and Evan Mobley, not necessarily in that order (but probably in that order). The next tier offers up decent “consolation prizes” should Detroit fall in the standings with Jalen Green, Jonathan Kuminga, Jalen Suggs, Jalen Johnson and Scottie Barnes rounding out the top seven.

It also appears the league is preparing for a more regular, in-person NBA Draft Combine, which is set to take place June 21-27.