At long last, the Detroit Pistons moved up in the draft and landed the number one overall pick. For the first time since the 2003 draft the Pistons will have a chance to add an elite prospect to their team and they will not be making a mistake this time. Cade Cunningham is only visiting one team in the predraft process. He is the next face of the Detroit Pistons.
Troy Weaver talked throughout his first season about how this was not a rebuild for the Detroit Pistons but it was about restoring the greatness that the franchise had experienced. Cade Cunningham is the type of number one overall prospect that does just that. He is an elite playmaker and defensive wing. He can shoot, he can be the go-to scorer and he can play off-ball and make his teammates better.
With the number one pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, the Detroit Pistons will select Cade Cunningham! What does this mean for the Motor City?
The young core of the Pistons was already promising. Saddiq Bey was named to the All-Rookie First Team and Isaiah Stewart was on the Second Team. The beauty of what Cade Cunningham brings to the table is that he may even be able to play alongside Killian Hayes. They would cause havoc for opposing guards with their on-ball defense and if Hayes’s shot makes any progress having two elite passers is never going to be a bad thing.
Without looking too far into the future, Pistons’ fans simply need to bask in the glory that is bringing in a talent on the level of Cunningham. It is not hyperbolic to say that he is the best prospect they are drafting since Grant Hill in 1993. He will add everything that a team long devoid of a spark needs. Little Caesar’s Arena has been tough to fill since it opened but the Detroit faithful will flock to watch what he brings to the floor.
For the Pistons, the restoration is accelerated by bringing Cunningham into the fold. If he is everything that he has been projected to be (he is) then there is a real possibility the Pistons mirror what the Charlotte Hornets did this year and make a push for the playoffs until the last day of the season. Despite their record this season, the Pistons were able to hang with playoff teams for much of the season and that was without Hayes in the lineup for much of the season. The offense will be transformed with elite passing at both guard positions and the defense was already above average.
Today is a day of celebration. Detroit Pistons fans have long wanted the team to start over with a young core. This season was the first step, as fans enjoyed the exploits of Jerami Grant, Josh Jackson, Frank Jackson, Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart. Those same fans were wary of generations of no luck in the lottery and missing on picks in the seven to nine range. Today change that. Welcome to the Motor City, Cade Cunningham.