The Detroit Pistons won the NBA Draft Lottery, vaulting for the first time in history up the draft order. They came into the night with the second-worst record in the NBA and had the best odds to land No. 1 at just 14% with three other teams.
The Pistons restored/rebuilt/tanked and now have an opportunity to draft Cade Cunningham first overall. This is just what the franchise needed and ensures Troy Weaver will have everything he needs to build the Pistons back into a contender.
The NBA Draft Lottery Special on ESPN extends the drama for maximum effect and cut to commercial after announcing the teams up to the top four. It was the longest commercial break I’ve ever experienced.
Quickly, the Raptors and Cavs were both announced meaning only two teams — the league’s two worst franchises remained on the board. The Houston Rockets and the Detroit Pistons.
As I detailed earlier, these two franchises also tied for the least amount of appearances in the top six picks since 1981 heading into tonight. The key difference between the two franchises — the Pistons had selected third (Grant Hill) and second (Isiah Thomas and Darko Milicic). The Rockets, meanwhile, had seen all three of their top six picks land at No. 1 overall. They picked Ralph Sampson, Hakeem Olajuwon and Yao Ming. Not bad ...
There was a short delay to extend the drama. Then I heard my wife starting to scream. She was watching cable and I was watching a stream ... I’m either behind and something good happened or the cable went out.
Then .... the Rockets were shown as pick No. 2. The Pistons. Had. Won.
Many obscenities were unleashed. Not safe for public consumption.
But let us turn to Twitter for some additional reactions.
NO. 1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!— Detroit Bad Boys ☠ (@detroitbadboys) June 23, 2021
In Cade Cunningham, the presumptive top overall pick in the NBA Draft, the Pistons would get an electric scorer and creator. He could play as the official point guard or on the wing as a complement to last year’s pick Killian Hayes.
Cunningham’s potential is through the roof, but he is no sure thing, and if there are questions they center around a somewhat iffy handle and questionable decision-making as a faciliator.
It’s not that he is unskilled, it is more about a high number of turnovers due to dangerous passes. Some put that on the players around Cade, some put it on the insistence of the coaching staff to fit the ball into tight spaces, and some put it on Cade himself. In truth, it’s like a mix of all three.
The NBA game is much different than the college game, and the staunchest Cade supporters think entering the NBA will unlock Cade’s natural abilities and see him succeed in ways he was unable to in the NCAA.