The Detroit Pistons lucked out in the 2021 NBA Draft. Not only did they get the number one pick, but there was a player there in Cade Cunningham who was worthy of being that top guy.
That is not always the case, as not all number one picks are created equally. Some years there is no consensus guy and some years teams have reached and missed out on generational talent by making the wrong selection.
You only have to look at the last 10 picks to see this in action, as you have guys who are already stars, players who have the chance to be generational superstars and a some who are already out of the league or hanging on by a thread.
When making these rankings (which are completely and totally subjective) I tried to balance what the player has already achieved vs. their potential, as obviously Cade Cunningham hasn’t had much chance to prove himself compared to guys like Karl-Anthony Towns or Andrew Wiggins.
So where does Cade Cunningham of the Detroit Pistons rank among the last 10 number one picks?
Detroit Pistons: Ranking the last 10 number one picks in the NBA Draft
#10: Anthony Bennett (2013)
This one is the easiest on the list, as Bennett is considered by many to be the worst number one pick of all time. He only played for four seasons in the NBA and managed to be on four different teams in that span. He never averaged more than five points per game, and even though he is still miraculously just 29-years-old, he is already out of the NBA and currently playing the Taiwanese league. To be fair to Cleveland, this was a terrible draft overall, but literally any other player in the first round would have been a better choice than Bennett.
#9: Markell Fultz (2017)
Fultz was another easy choice here, as he has only played one full season out of his five years in the NBA, playing fewer than 20 games apiece in the other four. Fultz and the Magic are still hoping that he turns it around, as he was decent in his one full season. But the guy can’t shoot and can’t stay healthy. What makes it even more egregious is that the 76ers traded up to get him at #1, while the Celtics took their 3rd pick and ran away laughing with Jayson Tatum, who has blossomed into the best player from this draft and an All-NBA selection. Yeah for The Process!