The Pistons have their new face of the future.
With the first overall pick in the NBA Draft Thursday night, Detroit selected Oklahoma State's Cade Cunningham.
He put on a pair of distinctive Detroit Buffs during an interview on ESPN moments after the pick was announced and declared, "Detroit, I'm all the way in. Detroit Pistons, I'm all the way in. Let's do it!"
Cunningham's a 6'8 point-forward who's drawn frequent comparisons to Grant Hill, with ESPN's Jay Bilas adding this week that the 20-year-old "Cunningham is much more skilled and a far better shooter than Grant was" at the same age.
"He's the most complete player that I can remember coming out in the draft," said Bilas.
Cunningham instantly becomes the centerpiece of the Pistons' rebuild. He averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists while shooting 40 percent from three last season. He also helped Oklahoma State to its first NCAA Tournament win in six years.
Now he joins a franchise looking for its first playoff win since 2008.
"Over the years I feel like I’ve shown through my play and who I am off the court that I can come in and elevate the people around me and an organization," Cunningham said Wednesday via ESPN. "I feel like I can come in and be an immediate impact, and that’s what you want from the No. 1 pick."
Cunningham was the consensus No. 1 pick for the past several months. Detroit also gave consideration to G League guard Jalen Green and USC center Evan Mobley in the lead-up to the draft, but GM Troy Weaver didn't get cute. The Pistons met with Cunningham for a final time Wednesday night in New York and finalized their decision Thursday morning.
After working out for the Pistons in Detroit last week, Cunningham raved about the organization and said he would try to "step in and embody the swag that people from Detroit walk with, the people from Michigan in general. They have an underdog, go-get-what-you-want feel to them and I like that about the city."
He added, "I’m going to try to carry that same swag in how I walk on the court and make the most out of wearing red, white and blue."