Detroit Pistons: 5 best options for pick No. 1

Cade Cunningham should be the primary draft target for the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Cade Cunningham should be the primary draft target for the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
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The euphoria heard around the Detroit area, as well as from Pistons fans around the world, was palpable when it was announced at the NBA Draft Lottery that the Pistons would get the No. 1 overall pick.

Luck on lottery night had been all bad for Detroit until this year. Since the lottery was instituted in 1985, the Pistons had never moved up in the draft with their own pick (they did with the Grizzlies in 2003 to No. 2, but that really was not helpful).

The last time Detroit drafted first was 1970. Heck, the Pistons are one of the founding members of the NBA (the agreement to form the league, legend has it, was drawn up on Pistons owner Fred Zollner’s kitchen table), and this is only the third time ever, they get to draft first.

They actually had, historically, drafted first the same number of times as the Providence Steamrollers (1948 and ’49) … until now.

And the Pistons staff was just as thrilled as the fans about getting No. 1

The prize of course, is 6-foot-8 Oklahoma State combo everything Cade Cunningham. After every loss, the tag ‘Fade for Cade’ was on many Pistons fans social media posts.

Cunningham is projected to be the highest-impact player the draft has seen in a few years, according to those in the draft media.

light. Related Story. Will Cade Cunningham be the best Pistons’ rookie of all time?

But before you go out and get a Cade Cunningham Pistons jersey, or buy a package to watch the Pistons summer league team in Las Vegas (game tickets already on sale), you might want to heed the words of the person who will actually make the pick, courtesy Rod Beard of Detroit News:

"“We’ll look at everything; we’ll look at 5 guys in the draft,” said Pistons general manager Troy Weaver. “We’ll uncover every stone and put ourselves in the right position to get the right guy for the Pistons. … We’ll look at everything; we’ll be aggressive and have the mindset to improve this team by all means necessary.” Trading the No. 1 pick?: “Yes, that’s an option.”"

Weaver put a number on it. They will look at five players for the No. 1 slot, if they don’t trade the pick.

Now, don’t get too upset Cade Cunningham-loving fans. A lot of this is GM-speak. Weaver learned his trade in Oklahoma City, which has a lot of experience in dealing with high draft positions successfully (Kevin Durant, James Harden, Russell Westbrook)

He knows there is no upside to blurting out on lottery night they will take Cunningham. And Weaver has always trusted his own evaluations over the draft industry mob’s projections.

No mock draft had Isaiah Stewart going No. 16 in last year, but Weaver liked him and got him. Saben Lee was not even listed on some mock drafts top 60, but Weaver took him in the second round and he looks to have potential.

As for the trade quote, that was a note to the other NBA general managers: ‘Hey, call me. I might not say yes, but we can talk’.

Related Story. Detroit Pistons: Troy Weaver’s first season has been impressive. light

This is in line with Weaver’s philosophy. At the trade deadline, when asked about dealing Jerami Grant or other top players, he responded: “Some guys are not going anywhere … But I never say anyone is untradeable. You never know when someone is going to offer you four first-round picks.”

And, to get Cunningham, some team (probably based in Oklahoma), could offer Weaver four first-rounders.

But Weaver will bring in five players (Cunningham has already let it be known he will attend a Pistons workout), and if he thinks someone is better than Cade, his track record says he will take him instead.

So here are the five best options for the Detroit Pistons to deal with the No. 1 pick: