Decision 'finalized:' Pistons drafting Cade Cunningham No. 1 overall


The pick is (all but) in.

Troy Weaver and the Pistons have 'landed on a decision' to take Cade Cunningham first overall in Thursday night's NBA Draft, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. The club cemented its decision Thursday morning after meeting with Cunningham for a final time Wednesday night in New York.

There was some speculation in recent days that the Pistons might be warming on G League guard Jalen Green, who reportedly had a 'stellar workout' in Detroit last week. The club was also said to be considering USC center Evan Mobley.

But the Pistons' search ended where it began, with the consensus best player in the draft. Cunningham, the All-American guard from Oklahoma State, will instantly become the centerpiece of Detroit's rebuild -- which already features two All-Rookies in Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart.

"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."

The only way Cunningham lands somewhere other than Detroit is if the Pistons trade the top pick. Wojnarowski notes that offers "continue to come in," but the Pistons would have to be blown away to say yes. They were rumored to have rejected the No. 6 pick and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander from Oklahoma City.

Cunningham worked out for the Pistons in Detroit last week and said afterward he would be "definitely be excited" to join the organization. He pointed to the growth last season of Bey and Stewart and said it speaks to "what that staff is doing with their players and the amount of time they put into development.

"That's a good indication in itself, that’s something I like to see. Young core, things going well for them. Obviously they didn’t have the season they wanted to have last year, but a lot of things to build off of."

Cunningham also said he felt the love from the city after being showered in "We Want Cade!" chants at the Tigers game last Monday.

"If Detroit picks me, the main thing I’m going to try to do is step in and embody the swag that people from Detroit walk with, the people from Michigan in general," he said. "They have an underdog, go-get-what-you-want feel to them and I like that about the city. 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."

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