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With the No. 1 overall pick, the Detroit Pistons selected the player atop every mock draft leading up to the 2021 NBA Draft, guard Cade Cunningham from Oklahoma State University.
The 6’8″ Cunningham was the consensus best player of the draft, lauded by basketball analysts for his quick speed as a big guard, capable of finding a bucket to the tune of 20.1 PPG in his only season at OSU.
With an effective ability to pull up for shots off switching defenders and shaking off pesky opponents with elusive fakes, Cunningham’s comfort with moving the ball around and opening up the floor for teammates has been one of the deadliest assets displayed by the elite guard.
He lands on a Pistons squad that had the Eastern Conference’s worst record, 20-64, so his passing ability, patience to break down a defense and adaptable footwork to get shots off from any position immediately may come in handy in Detroit.
“It’s still crazy to be in the moment. Words can’t really explain the emotions, everybody’s so happy. It’s a blessing,” said Cunningham, after getting selected with the No. 1 pick.
“I know my name was the first name called, but I know I didn’t do this by myself. I feel like I have the No. 1 pick in family. I’m blessed to have this support system. I’m just so happy to be here, I’m ready to see what I can do at the next level. …
“Detroit I’m all the way in. Detroit Pistons, I’m all the way in. Let’s do it!”
The top ten picks in the 2021 NBA Draft went as follows:
- Detroit Pistons: Cade Cunningham, PG (Oklahoma State)
- Houston Rockets: Jalen Green, SG (G League)
- Cleveland Cavaliers: Evan Mobley, C (USC)
- Toronto Raptors: Scottie Barnes, SF (Florida State)
- Orlando Magic: Jalen Suggs, PG (Gonzaga)
- Oklahoma City Thunder: Josh Giddey, SF (Australia)
- Golden State Warriors: Jonathan Kuminga, SF (G League)
- Orlando Magic: Franz Wagner, SF (Michigan)
- Sacramento Kings: Davion Mitchell, PG (Baylor)
- Memphis Grizzlies: Ziaire Williams, SG (Stanford)