Cade Cunningham, Pistons are lock at top


Tuesday was Cade Cunningham’s night as the Detroit Pistons received the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA draft. Cunningham has been the favored top pick since the midway through the college season and all signs point to Pistons picking Cunningham on July 29. BetMGM has him as the favorite at -2000 odds. 

The Pistons had success drafting Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart last year, and Cunningham will be an instant impact guy alongside Killian Hayes next season. 

There’s a drop-off after Jalen Green, Jalen Suggs, Evan Mobley and Jonathan Kuminga round out the top five.

Here’s a look at Yahoo Sports’ first round, post NBA lottery selection.

Ht./Wt: 6-foot-8, 220 pounds

Class: Freshman

Oklahoma State: 20.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 4.5 apg

Oklahoma State’s social media even dubbed this “Cade Day” on social media as the 6-foot-8 lead guard prepared for Tuesday night. His future was determined by a single pingpong ball, and he celebrated with family and friends as he prepares for the 2021 draft. Cunningham has been working out during the pre-draft process in L.A. with his brother, Cannen, and longtime trainer, Ashton Bennings. Cunningham is the heavy favorite for the No. 1 pick and can be plugged in right away in the backcourt alongside a healthy Killian Hayes. 

Cade Cunningham has been the favored top pick since the midway through the college season and all signs point to Pistons picking Cunningham on July 29. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Ht./Wt: 6-6, 186

G League Ignite: 17.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.8 apg

Green has arguably the biggest upside in this draft class, but some teams still think he needs a year or two to develop into a prime-time combo guard in the NBA. Green has been incredible in pre-draft workouts this year and focused on showing NBA scouts he can facilitate for others at a high level during the G League bubble season. Cunningham might have it locked to the Pistons at No. 1, but there are definitely going to be a few teams that take a look at Green, including the Rockets at No. 2 to join Kevin Porter Jr. in the young backcourt. 

Story continues

Ht./Wt: 7-0, 210

Class: Freshman

USC: 16.4 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 3.0 bpg

Mobley is the best shot-blocker in this draft class and would be a great addition to the Cavaliers at No. 3. His biggest knock during the regular season is that he wasn’t physically tough around the rim. Well, all questions surrounding his toughness were answered in the NCAA tournament when he went right at Oregon’s defense in the Sweet 16. Mobley had 95 blocks this season and would fit right alongside Jarrett Allen in the frontcourt next season.

Ht./Wt: 6-4, 205

Class: Freshman

Gonzaga: 14.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 4.6 apg

Suggs opted out for the NBA draft combine, but he’s been busy working out in L.A., telling Yahoo Sports earlier this month, “I feel great. Workouts have been going well and I’m excited for the process.” Suggs was one of the best point guards in college basketball this season and gave one of the best NCAA tournament performances ever when he banked in the buzzer-beating, winning shot against UCLA to advance to the championship game.

Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs hits the buzzer-beating, winning 3-pointer in overtime to defeat UCLA in the Final Four on April 3, 2021 in Indianapolis. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Ht./Wt: 6-6, 210

G League Ignite: 15.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg

Despite being one of the youngest players in this draft class, Kuminga remains one of the most NBA-body ready wings heading into next season. He led the Ignite team in rebounds, grabbing 93 boards in 13 games, and is great in isolation situations with the shot clock winding down.

Ht./Wt: 6-9, 227

Class: Freshman

Florida State: 10.3 points, 4.0 rpg, 4.1 apg

Barnes might be one of the biggest sleepers in this draft class. He’s a point-forward who didn’t shoot it that well from 3-point range this season, but he’s a player who knows what it takes to win games down the stretch and helped Florida State close out numerous games this season. It doesn’t take much for NBA teams to look at Leonard Hamilton products in the NBA with Terance Mann, Patrick Williams and Devin Vassell. Barnes is the next great player from Florida State and should not be overlooked at pick No. 6.

Ht./Wt: 6-2, 205

Class: Junior

Baylor: 14 ppg, 5.5 apg

Mitchell is one of the older players in this draft class at 22 years old. With that comes experience and, oh yeah, a national championship. Mitchell was the best player in the NCAA tournament and led the Baylor Bears to their first-ever national title. Mitchell averaged 13.2 points and six assists in the NCAA tournament and is one of the best NBA-ready guards in this draft class. He could be an additional Splash Brother for the Warriors next season.

Ht./Wt: 6-5, 186

Class: Freshman

Tennessee: 11.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.5 apg

Johnson might be the Donovan Mitchell of this draft class with his elite basketball IQ in the open court and his crazy first step off the dribble. Johnson was a little inconsistent during his one season at Tennessee, but the way he spreads the floor caters more to the NBA. He could be the steal of the draft at No. 8.

Ht./Wt: 6-11, 221

Class: Sophomore

Texas: 8.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg

Jones was measured at 6-foot-10 in socks, has a 7-foot-1 wingspan and a 9-foot-2 standing reach at the NBA draft combine this week. Also, he registered a 4.7% body fat, so it’s clear he’s been working hard since the college season. Texas has been notorious for producing bigs to the NBA like Jaxson Hayes, Jarrett Allen, Myles Turner and Mo Bamba. Jones is the next generational player to come out of Texas and will be a great long-term addition to the Kings. 

Kai Jones is the next generational player to come out of Texas. (Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports)

Ht./Wt: 6-8, 205

Adelaide 36ers (Australia’s National Basketball League): 11 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 7.6 apg

The Pelicans can benefit from taking the skilled, passing guard out of Australia in the late lottery. He led all players in the NBL in assists and was sixth in rebounding. Giddey became the youngest Australian player in the NBL to register a triple-double on April 25, and he ended up leading all players in triple-doubles with three for the season.

Ht./Wt: 6-7, 220

Class: Senior

Gonzaga: 18.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg

The NBA is a shooters league, and Kispert can shoot. Even with the disappointing finish the Zags had, Kispert still led the team in 3-point shooting percentage (44%) and was one of the best shooters in the NCAA, knocking down 91 threes this season. There’s a lot to like about the sharpshooter in the late lottery and his draft range is anywhere from Nos. 9-15.

Ht./Wt: 6-5, 190

Class: Sophomore

Connecticut: 18.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg

Bouknight is a solid guard who can contribute minutes right away after his two seasons at Connecticut. He’s a very talented scorer who has no problem creating his own shot and getting into the lane. He was a streaky shooter at times during his sophomore season and shot only 30% from 3-point range. Defensively, he’s one of the best rebounding guards in this draft class and could impact the game the same way Jae’Sean Tate, 2020-21 NBA All-Rookie Team, did for Houston during his rookie season.

Ht./Wt: 6-6, 205

Class: Freshman

Arkansas: 16.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg

Moody is an excellent shooter from the wing and has great size as an NBA combo guard. He has played alongside great players like Cunningham, Barnes and Day’Ron Sharpe in high school and knows what it takes to win. Moody was a calm, collective guard in his one season at Arkansas and has all the tools to be a great player at the next level.

Ht./Wt: 6-9, 220

Class: Freshman

Duke: 11.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg

The Warriors have struggled with wing depth and versatility in the backcourt all season long. Johnson is a high-risk, high-reward type of player. No one really knows how he’ll pan out as a professional after leaving Duke early after only 13 games.

Jalen Johnson played only 13 games at Duke, so his NBA potential is unknown. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

Post Lottery

Ht./Wt: 6-8, 185

Class: Freshman

Stanford: 10.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg

Williams was listed at 6-foot-9 during the draft combine and could surprise a lot of teams this week after a subpar season at Stanford. The elite wing has been working out in Las Vegas with trainer Joe Abunassar and told Yahoo Sports, “I feel good and I’m ready. I trust the process and the pre-draft process has been great. I’ve been training my whole life for this moment.”

Ht./Wt: 6-9, 220 | Class: Sophomore | Michigan: 12.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 3.0 apg

Ht./Wt: 6-10, 206 | Class: Freshman | Kentucky: 8.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg

Ht./Wt.: 6-10, 240 | Besiktas Sompo (Turkey): 23 ppg, 7.3 rpg

Ht./Wt: 6-6, 190 | Class: Senior | Oregon: 17.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.7 apg

Ht./Wt: 6-4, 210 | Class: Freshman | LSU: 23 ppg, 3.4 rpg

Ht./Wt: 6-8, 229 | Spain (Real Madrid): 5.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg

Ht./Wt: 6-4, 204 | Class: Freshman | Tennessee: 12.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.9 apg

Ht./Wt: 7-0, 245 | Class: Junior | Utah State: 14.9 ppg, 10.1 rpg

Ht./Wt: 6-5, 190 | Class: Sophomore | Florida: 16 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 3.5 apg

Ht./Wt: 6-11, 235 | Class: Junior | Western Kentucky: 17.6 ppg, 11.6 rpg

Ht./Wt.: 6-3, 195 | Class: Junior | Baylor: 17.1 ppg, 5.0 apg

Ht./Wt: 6-9, 205 | Class: Freshman | Texas: 9.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg

Ht./Wt: 6-5, 185 | Class: Junior | Illinois: 20.6ppg, 6.5 rpg, 5.4 apg

Ht./Wt: 6-0, 180 | Class: Freshman | Auburn: 20.2 ppg, 8.1 apg

There were initial reports that Cooper was measured at 6-foot-3.5 in socks and 6-foot-4.5 in shoes at the NBA draft combine and those numbers came with a lot of skepticism around the NBA. We have yet to determine if it’s a misprint or an incredible growth spurt in the last three months. All questions could be answered in a side-by-side shot with 6-foot-5 guard Tre Mann during the five-on-five scrimmages during the draft combine this week.

Ht./Wt: 6-9, 206 | Class: Junior | Virginia: 11.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg

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