Pistons add top pick Cade Cunningham to youth movement
|Toronto Star 29 Jul 2021 at 20:33|
DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Pistons did what they were expected to do Thursday night, selecting Oklahoma State guard Cale Cunningham with the first pick of the NBA draft.
Cunningham, the Big 12 Player of the Year and a consensus first-team All-American as a freshman, averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists while leading the Cowboys to a 21-9 record and their first NCAA Tournament berth in four years.
The 6-foot-8 ball-handling guard will add another weapon to a Detroit lineup that had four players aged 21 or younger in their rotation last season.
Two of the four, Killian Hayes and Saben Lee, are pass-first guards who could play alongside Cunningham in a lineup with leading scorer Jeremi Grant (22.3 ppg), and two 2021 All-Rookie selections, 3-point specialist Saddiq Bey and rebounder Isaiah Stewart.
Grant, who will be 27 this season, will be the only one in that group older than 22.
Detroit hadn’t had the first-overall pick since 1970, when they selected Hall of Famer Bob Lanier out of St. Bonaventure. They won the lottery last month after finishing 20-52 in a season that saw them trade Derrick Rose and buy out Blake Griffin’s contract.