Pistons Win Lottery, Receive No.1 Pick in 2021 NBA Draft | national
Newly selected to the Basketball Hall of Fame Ben Wallace banged his fist on the table a few times, then clapped his hands and pointed a finger skyward.
After one of the worst seasons in franchise history, Detroit has something to celebrate.
The Pistons won the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday night, meaning they’ll have the No.1 pick on July 29 – and, presumably, the chance to take on Oklahoma State Cade Cunningham .
“We can add another young player to the restoration process,” said Pistons general manager Troy Weaver. “We are delighted to occupy this position. But it does mean that we have a lot of work to do. We’re going to be diligent about this, but it always helps that we can add a # 1 pick from a pool of talented players to choose from. “
Houston – who had essentially a 50-50 top-four picking chance – got the second pick. Cleveland will pick No.3 and Toronto will pick No.4, after these two franchises have been lucky in the lottery to go up in order.
But the big winners were the Pistons, with Weaver saying the team would review five players before deciding on the No.1 selection. Unless Detroit moves the pick, they will pick the No. 1 overall for the first time. since taking over Bob Lanier in 1970.
And, as if there was any doubt, Weaver said that Cunningham – just the fourth player to win Big 12 Player and Freshman of the Year honors in the same season, after averaging 20.2 points per game in its only college season – is on “top of the list.”
“It’s going to mean a lot. It’s going to mean a lot to this team, ”Wallace said on the ESPN Lottery TV show, after being the team’s virtual representative for the event in Secaucus, New Jersey. “I think the team is heading in the right direction.”
Orlando will get the No.5 and No.8 picks, Oklahoma City picking No.6 and Golden State also with two lottery slots – No.7, in a trade with Minnesota, and the Warriors’ own pick in n ° 1. 14.
The rest of the lottery results: Sacramento picks # 9, New Orleans # 10, Charlotte # 11, San Antonio picks # 12, and Indiana picks # 13.
The lottery – 14 ping-pong balls, all numbered 1-14, placed in a hopper – technically determines only the top four picks. The rest by default to a pre-established order of arrival; Golden State, for example, had only a 2.4% chance that its own pick was anything other than the No.14 pick.
And the shape held thanks to the first six picks that were unveiled. The No. 8 pick, which was awarded to Chicago, ends up with the Magic as part of Nikola Vucevic’s trade starting this season. That’s when the first significant move happened, when Toronto’s 31.9% chance of entering any of the top four spots was delivered.
The Thunder will have three first-round picks, but none are better than No. 6. That’s good news for them, and great news for Houston.
The Rockets had a 52% chance of winning a top-four pick. The worst Houston could do was the No.5 selection, and it really was the worst case scenario, because if the Rockets were outside the top four, the pick would move to Oklahoma City as part of the compensation for Russell Westbrook. -Chris Paul. trade between these teams in 2019. In that scenario, if Houston had secured the No.5 pick, it would have gone to the Thunder in exchange for the No.18 pick.
But the Rockets held on, securing the No.2 pick as one of the staples they can use to reload after finishing with the worst NBA record this season. Viewers may have discovered the order before Rockets general manager Rafael Stone, who decided not to watch the stressful countdown.
“I decided it would probably be unpleasant,” Stone said.
The consensus view has been that the No.1 pick will either be a single college player – Cunningham, Southern California center Evan Mosley or Gonzaga goalkeeper Jalen Suggs – or someone from the G-League development agenda. like goalkeeper Jalen Green or striker Jonathan Kuminga.
And, as always, it will be a guessing game: most of the expected lottery players are teenagers, mostly 19, some 18.
Sitting at No.3, the Cavs have the chance to add another young player to their ‘four cores’ – Darius Garland, Collin Sexton, Isaac Okoro and Jared Allen – and perhaps find a player who can bring Cleveland back to relevance.
Cavs general manager Koby Altman believes this draft has more quality at the top than in previous years.
“Even beyond the top five there could be potential All-Stars,” he said.
The rest of the first round, for now, goes this way – Washington will pick the 15th, followed by Oklahoma City, Memphis, Oklahoma City, New York, Atlanta, New York, the Los Angeles Lakers, then Houston in the two No.23 and No.24, followed by the Los Angeles, Denver, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Utah Clippers.
AP Sports writer Tom Withers in Cleveland contributed.
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