NBA Draft Rumors: Rockets, Cavaliers, Thunder and Pelicans Are Interested In Trading Up To No.1, Compared
The Detroit Pistons may have won the NBA Draft Lottery, but that doesn’t mean they’re a lock in staying at No.1 overall and taking top prospect Cade Cunningham. According to Jonathan Givony from ESPN, Cunningham isn’t a lock on becoming No.1, and while all talk is still in its early stages, the Pistons are exploring the possibility of moving out of the No.1 overall spot. , Cleveland, Oklahoma City and New Orleans are all interested in potentially moving up to No. 1 overall.
The Rockets and Cavaliers are obvious candidates if they are firmly set on a specific prospect. Houston has the No. 2 overall pick and Cleveland has the No. 3 overall pick, and both teams have a lot of things they could theoretically add to an offer. Houston took control of all of Brooklyn’s first-round picks by 2027 in James Harden’s trade and picked up two more first-rounds for Robert Covington. Cleveland isn’t as rich in choice, but the Cavaliers have been in the lottery for several years now. This allowed them to accumulate a considerable amount of young talent. If Detroit is interested in Collin Sexton, Darius Garland or Isaac Okoro, Cleveland could make a solid offer.
The Thunder and Pelicans aren’t as high in the draft. Oklahoma City has the No. 6 pick in addition to No. 16 and 18, and the Pelicans are even lower at No. 10 overall. But few basketball teams are better positioned to trade aggressively than the Thunder and Pelicans because of the method in which both teams have amassed draft capital. The Thunder have 18 first-round picks over the next seven years, thanks in large part to deals involving Paul George and Russell Westbrook. The Pelicans aren’t far behind after trading Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday. Both teams also have young talent to include. If the Pistons aren’t interested in choice-based packages, maybe something around Brandon Ingram or Shai Gilgeous-Alexander might appeal to them.
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The Pistons control the draft from first place. They are not going to come down for anything less than fair value. But with reports indicating that Cunningham is not as firmly at the top of most boards as previously thought, Detroit may be able to earn a few niches while snagging the prospect it wants. In doing so, the Pistons could give themselves a lot more assets to hang in the coming years.