NBA Draft rumors: Rockets, Cavaliers, Thunder and Pelicans are interested in trading up to No. 1, per report – CBS Sports - Techy Hunters


Thursday, July 8, 2021

NBA Draft rumors: Rockets, Cavaliers, Thunder and Pelicans are interested in trading up to No. 1, per report – CBS Sports


The Detroit Pistons may have won the NBA Draft Lottery, but that doesn’t mean that they are a lock to stay at No. 1 overall and take top prospect Cade Cunningham. According to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, Cunningham is not a lock to go No. 1, and while all talks are still in the early stages, the Pistons are exploring the possibility of trading out of the No. 1 overall slot. According to Givony, Houston, Cleveland, Oklahoma City and New Orleans are all interested in potentially moving up to No. 1 overall. 

The Rockets and Cavaliers are obvious candidates if they are dead set on a specific prospect. Houston has the No. 2 overall pick and Cleveland has the No. 3 overall pick, and both teams have plenty they could theoretically add to an offer. Houston gained control of all of Brooklyn’s first-round picks from now until 2027 in the James Harden trade and picked up two extra first-rounders for Robert Covington. Cleveland isn’t quite as pick rich, but the Cavaliers have been in the lottery for several years now. That has allowed them to accumulate a considerable amount of young talent. If Detroit is interested in Collin Sexton, Darius Garland or Isaac Okoro, Cleveland could make a strong offer. 

The Thunder and Pelicans aren’t quite as high up in the draft. Oklahoma City has the No. 6 pick in addition to Nos. 16 and 18, and the Pelicans are sitting even further down at No. 10 overall. But few teams in basketball are better situated to make an aggressive trade than the Thunder and Pelicans because of how methodically both teams have gathered draft capital. The Thunder have 18 first-round picks over the next seven years thanks largely to trades involving Paul George and Russell Westbrook. The Pelicans aren’t far behind after dealing Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday. Both teams have young talent to include as well. If the Pistons aren’t interested in picks-based packages, perhaps something around Brandon Ingram or Shai Gilgeous-Alexander might entice them.

The Pistons are in control of the draft from the No. 1 spot. They aren’t going to move down for anything less than fair value. But with reports indicating that Cunningham isn’t as firmly atop most boards as previously thought, Detroit might be able to move down a few slots and still land the prospect that it wants. In doing so, the Pistons could give themselves significantly more assets to dangle in future moves years down the line. 

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