2021 NBA Draft Rumors: Pistons Eyeing Cunningham at No. 1; Rockets Prefer Jalen Green


AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

It’s “highly likely” that the Detroit Pistons will stay put at No. 1 overall and select Oklahoma State point guard Cade Cunningham with the top pick of the 2021 NBA draft, which will go down on July 29.

Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reported that news on Friday and also noted that his league sources say the Houston Rockets, who sit at No. 2 overall, prefer to take shooting guard Jalen Green of the G League Ignite.

Houston “would love” to take Cunningham, as O’Connor wrote, but the Rockets have some good options at No. 2. Green, USC big man Evan Mobley and Gonzaga point guard Jalen Suggs appear to be the top choices, although Houston could take an offer to trade down too.

O’Connor explained why taking Green could work out for the rebuilding Rockets.

“Selecting him would make perfect sense: Not only is scoring a premium skill, he’s also flashed playmaking ability. Green is raw, but the Rockets have a young team that doesn’t need to worry about contending anytime soon. He’s a hard worker, and at just 19 years old, he’s only starting to tap into his full potential as an elite athlete with shot-creation skills. It would not be a shocker if he ends up as this draft’s best player.”

Green bypassed college to play one year in the G League, and he averaged 17.9 points on 46.1 percent shooting in 15 games.


This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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