News broke early Monday that the Oklahoma City Thunder, armed with a giant war chest of future picks, made a legitimate offer to the Detroit Pistons in an effort to trade up to No. 1 in Thursday’s NBA Draft.
This came after Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Pistons were still undecided on who to select in the draft between Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green and Evan Mobley.
Oklahoma City has a ton of draft capital, but there is an obvious top three in this draft, and it is hard to imagine the Pistons coming out of it without one of those top three players.
As I wrote on Twitter:
IMO, the only thing that qualifies as a legit offer is Detroit staying in the top 3 or SGA being in the deal. Seems unlikely OKC would be able/willing to make it happen. https://t.co/dJlLlWIKtD— Detroit Bad Boys ☠ (@detroitbadboys) July 26, 2021
Well, later on Monday a report surfaced on what the Thunder offered Detroit for the first overall pick, and it was, indeed, legitimate. According to Matt Babcock of Basketball News, the Thunder offered the sixth overall pick and young, star point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
“Rumor has it that the Thunder offered the No. 6 pick and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in exchange for No. 1 — the Pistons declined,” according to Babcock.
Now, the fact that he starts off his statement with the phrase, “rumor has it” should not be overlooked. This could be something Babcock, a former agent, heard from someone who heard from someone, who heard from someone.
But if the offer was made and declined, what does that mean for the Pistons?
Well it means that the Detroit Pistons either think Cade Cunningham is a super-duper star in the making or that the team’s rebuild cannot be accelerated to the point that it makes sense to take on the pending maximum contract SGA will command next season.
Because the quality of Gilgeous-Alexander’s play is unimpeachable. He’s already one of the top young point guards in the game and provides value on both ends of the floor. He’s just two weeks past his 23rd birthday so it’s not like he’s not on a reasonable timeline age wise.
If you’re thinking about the top young point guards in the game, how many people would you put ahead of SGA other than Luka Doncic? You’re talking about a group that includes Trae Young, Ja Morant, De’Aaron Fox. All promising players, but you could argue SGA is better than all three.
Another option, I suppose, would be the Pistons trying to force the Thunder to further maneuver up the draft so that the Pistons could have SGA and one of Mobley or Green. That seems far-fetched, but with OKC being able to offer so many picks to players lower in the draft, maybe it’s possible.
What do you think, Pistons fans? Is it Cade or bust, or is this supposed Thunder offer one you can’t refuse?