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DBB on 3: Final NBA Draft Thoughts

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The team at DBB takes one last dive into the NBA Draft before the Pistons kick things off Thursday at 8 p.m. on ESPN

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Oregon State at Oklahoma State Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

We’re just a day away from the 2021 NBA Draft.

The Detroit Pistons have been on the clock for over a month after their win at the NBA Draft Lottery. Much can happen between now and the Pistons pick, but in the meantime, the team at DBB will take one last dive into the pre-draft hubbub before the real thing tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

1. Almost all signs point to the Pistons taking Cade Cunningham with the top pick. How do you see Cade fitting with the young core of Killian Hayes, Saddiq Bey, and Isaiah Stewart that Troy Weaver has accumulated in Detroit?

Sean Corp: I see Cade being a great option as a primary creator on offense being complemented by a point guard like Killian Hayes who can push in transition, help ease the ball handling burden and can defend multiple positions on the perimeter. Defensively, the young players Weaver has at his disposal is really exciting because the switchability among Cunningham, Hayes, Bey, Diallo, Grant and Stewart makes for some versatile, potentially chaos-inducing lineups.

Lazarus Jackson: Extremely well! This group was missing another on-ball scorer and shot creator, and Cade is that IN ADDITION to being one of the top pick-and-roll playmakers in this year’s draft. The Pistons really couldn’t ask for more from this year’s draft.

Brady Fredericksen: I think he’s a perfect fit because he’s the type of talent that fits anywhere. He has the skills and talent to be an elite playmaker and scorer. It’s not a “this or that” situation with Cade—he’s just that good. I think he’s going to make life easier on everyone involved, but I think Killian Hayes is really going to have a weight lifted off his shoulders as the need for him to manufacture good looks for others stops being an every-time-down occurrence.

Ben Gulker: I see a lot of positional versatility, and if Killian takes a step forward over the summer, some intriguing possibilities attacking off the dribble from multiple positions - something the Pistons have struggled to do for several years. Don’t forget about Saben Lee in that mix either. Depending on what Weaver does with those second rounders, there could be several other young guys too.

Justin Lambregtse: I know a lot of people that are smarter than me think that Cade and Killian can fit well together, but I just don’t see it unless Killian significantly improves as a shooter. But that doesn’t matter at this point because the Pistons are in the talent acquisition phase of their rebuild and roster fit doesn’t matter as much now. As for Isaiah Stewart and Saddiq Bey. Both players fit well as guys that will get easy shots off of Cade’s passing ability and the attention he draws.

Matthew Way: Cade fits as the lead playmaker they need. Last season everyone was forced to carry a higher usage than what is optimal. With a guy like Cade drawing attention, the others should be in better positions to succeed.

enbiejowiec: A player as versatile as Cade Cunningham seems to fit perfectly with every squad. So I can’t answer the question about his fit with Detroit young core of Killian Hayes, Saddiq Bey, and Isaiah Stewart other than: he fits perfectly with them. But I can add that the young core (and the Pistons roster altogether) would fit Cunningham perfectly as well. A talented group of teammates is something that he lacked at Oklahoma State to win something meaningful. And teammates with character traits as those that Troy Weaver has assembled will push him to fulfill every ounce of his potential.

2. Unlike past lottery appearances, the question of “who should Detroit take” really wasn’t seriously asked. With that in mind, who is your (non-Cade) draft crush for the Pistons?

Sean Corp: No. 2 on my board would be Evan Mobley. That’s not exactly an earth-shaking revelation as most people have him near the top of the draft for his defensive potential on the perimeter and in the paint to go with his intriguing shot and passing ability. More controversial, perhaps, is my love of Jalen Suggs, who I would have ahead of Jalen Green. Suggs could be a two-way stud with a mature game and an ability to get to the paint and finish at will and get to the free-throw line a bunch. Those are skills the Pistons have been sorely lacking for ... over a decade.

Lazarus Jackson: For me, it was Evan Mobley, the do-it-all big man out of the University of Southern California. That combination of size and skill and processing speed was tantalizing, and I was fully charged up to do Mobley >>>> The Field takes for four weeks before it proved unnecessary. A little lower in the draft, I’m a big fan of Trey Murphy III, the bouncy Virginia sharpshooter (how often do you see those combinations of words), who I think could be another Saddiq Bey in terms of immediate impact in a clearly defined role for an NBA team. Unless the Pistons trade back into the first round, though, Murphy III is unlikely to be a Piston. Murphy is a Durham kid, as well, gotta stand up for my adopted #HoopState.

Brady Fredericksen: This has changed multiple times for me. Right now, I would love to land Neemias Queta in the second round. I know he’s older and doesn't exude as much potential as a ball of clay like JT Thor but with touch around the rim, an eye for passing the ball and elite shot blocking and length, I think he can slide in and take over the Mason Plumlee role relatively soon.

Ben Gulker: I’ve spent so much time watching Cade highlights I’ve basically ignored the rest of the draft if I’m being honest. Having the top pick has just been too much fun.

Justin Lambregtse: JT Thor. He is probably somebody that they will have to trade up into the late 1st round to get, but I would be all for it.

Matthew Way: Jared Butler. His Baylor backcourt teammate Davion Mitchell gets more love but Butler is younger and projects better in a lot of ways. And he could be available at the end of the first if Detroit consolidates picks.

enbiejowiec: Since Detroit won the lottery I don’t have any ‘non-Cade draft crush for the Pistons’ as regards Motown’s lotto pick. I had some before, but since June 22 they are long forgotten by me. I have some non-Cade draft crushes for the Pistons in the second round, though: Isaiah Jackson (if he can be had in the second round or with the pick in the first we can obtain for our two or all three of their seconds), Sandro Mamukelashvili, JT Thor and E.J. Onu.

3. What would you like to see from the Pistons coming out of this draft?

Sean Corp: I’d love to see Cunningham with a Pistons hat and some sort of trade that allows the Pistons to get back into the low teens or high 20s to grab a player Weaver likes. It’d cost Josh Jackson or Mason Plumlee if it becomes available, but I think with the progress of the rookies last year, those guys are expendable.

Lazarus Jackson: If this drops after the weekend, we’re going to talk about this a little on the podcast, but I would love for the Pistons to add one more knockdown catch-and-shoot shooter as a guard or wing option, and, as I’ve been calling it, one 6’10 Jumpy-Jump Guy.

Brady Fredericksen: I’d ike to see Cade at No. 1 and for them to get back into the first round via trade to land somebody else. Troy Weaver’s best draft pick last year came at No. 19 in Saddiq Bey. Let’s do that again.

Ben Gulker: I’m intrigued by the possibility of moving into later in the first round with some of those second round picks. Weaver struck gold twice with Bey and Stewart, and I’d love to see him pull off something similar again.

Justin Lambregtse: I would like to see them draft Cade No. 1, trade up into the 1st round using a couple of their 2nd round picks (if possible) and then use the late 2nd rounder for a draft and stash player. The Pistons need a potential superstar badly and Cade is the closest to that from this draft. Anything else they do doesn’t really matter as much to me.

Matthew Way: Maximize talent. Detroit isn’t in a position to be picky with if it yet. Collect as much talent as you can and work out the details in the coming years.

enbiejowiec: Get a player with the highest chance to be a franchise player. Use the three SRPs to get another exciting prospect(s) or some good draft capital for the future or to make some other shrewd trade.

As always, give us your thoughts in the comments below:

1. Almost all signs point to the Pistons taking Cade Cunningham with the top pick. How do you see Cade fitting with the young core of Killian Hayes, Saddiq Bey, and Isaiah Stewart that Troy Weaver has accumulated in Detroit?

2. Unlike past lottery appearances, the question of “who should Detroit take” really wasn’t seriously asked. With that in mind, who is your (non-Cade) draft crush for the Pistons?

3. What would you like to see from the Pistons coming out of this draft?