For months it's seemed as though Cade Cunningham would be the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft regardless of who won the selection. The 19-year-old star has been at the top of almost every mock draft since he first set foot on the court at Oklahoma State. But the Detroit Pistons aren't going to make it that easy. They're reportedly going to take their time to make a decision and Cunningham is certainly not a lock for the top selection, according to Sports Illustrated's Jeremy Woo.
"Based on some of the chatter I heard over the course of this season, there was enough love for Cade Cunningham atop the draft that he felt easy to pencil in, regardless of who won the lottery. That no longer appears to be the case," Woo wrote from the NBA Combine in Chicago. "In addition to Cunningham, league sources expect USC’s Evan Mobley and G League Ignite’s Jalen Green to receive serious consideration from the Pistons’ front office, led by general manager Troy Weaver. The strong sense I’ve gotten is that Detroit will explore all its options before committing one way or another, and that the decision on who to take is far from a done deal."
Pistons general manager Troy Weaver said the team will do a deep dive into five players in the pre-draft process and he wouldn't rule out trading the pick.
"We have to look at improving this team by any means necessary," Weaver told reporters during his post-lottery media availability.
If the Pistons do decide to pass on Cunningham, Jalen Green and Evan Mobley are the obvious alternatives with reports from The Athletic indicating Green might have the slight edge in Weaver's opinion.
From a Toronto Raptors perspective, Cunningham falling a pick or two likely wouldn't have much of an impact on the draft. Ultimately he will likely be gone by the time the fourth pick rolls around, but if the Raptors front office is enthralled with Cunningham, it could make a trade up the draft a little bit easier to pull off.