Pistons win lottery, land No. 1 pick in NBA draft
The Detroit Pistons won the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday and will have the first selection in next month’s draft.
The Houston Rockets will select second and the Cleveland Cavaliers will pick third when the draft takes place on July 29.
The Rockets, Pistons and Orlando Magic had highest chances — 14 percent apiece — of winning the lottery and the No. 1 overall pick. The Oklahoma City Thunder and Cavaliers had 11.5 percent chances of getting the top selection.
“It’s going to mean a lot for this team,” former Pistons forward Ben Wallace said on ESPN after the selection. “The team is headed in the right direction. We’ve got a group of young guys who come out and play hard on both ends of the floor. … To add a No. 1 pick to that caliber of team, the sky should be the limit.”
The Pistons last drafted first overall in 1970 when they selected future Hall of Fame forward Bob Lanier. They also had the No. 1 pick in 1967. taking two-time All-Star Jimmy Walker.
The Toronto Raptors, who entered with a 7.5 percent chance of landing the No. 1 pick, vaulted into the top four and will have their highest pick since selecting Andrea Bargnani at No. 1 in 2006.
Houston protected its pick from the Thunder after scoring a top-four selection. Thus, the Rockets still owe future first-round selection to Oklahoma City as part of the Chris Paul-Russell Westbrook trade in 2019.
The Orlando Magic and Golden State Warriors wound up with two picks in the top 14.
The Bulls’ lottery pick was protected if Chicago landed in the top four. Winding up at No. 8 meant they sent the pick to the Magic as part of the Nikola Vucecic deal at the 2021 trade deadline. Orlando also landed the No. 5 slot on its own.
The Timberwolves’ pick was only protected if it was among the top three, so the Warriors ended up receiving the No. 7 selection from Minnesota. Golden State, which picked James Wiseman No. 2 overall in the 2020 NBA Draft, has its own 2021 lottery pick (No. 14) after losing the play-in tournament with the Lakers and Grizzlies.
Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham rates as the top prospect in the draft. Cunningham is -250 to be the No. 1 pick at PointsBet and FanDuel.
Behind Cunningham, oddsmakers have Congolese small forward Jonathan Kuminga (+400), Southern California center Evan Mobley (+500) and shooting guard Jalen Green (+500) on the second tier of odds to go No. 1 overall.
Green and Kuminga are both 6-foot-6 and spent last season in the G League.
The full lottery order for the 2021 NBA Draft:
- Detroit Pistons
- Houston Rockets
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Toronto Raptors
- Orlando Magic
- Oklahoma City Thunder
- Golden State Warriors (from Minnesota Timberwolves)
- Orlando Magic (from Chicago Bulls)
- Sacramento Kings
- New Orleans Pelicans
- Charlotte Hornets
- San Antonio Spurs
- Indiana Pacers
- Golden State Warriors
- Washington Wizards
- Oklahoma City Thunder (from Boston Celtics)
- Memphis Grizzlies
- Oklahoma City Thunder (from Miami Heat via the Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers and Phoenix Suns)
- New York Knicks
- Atlanta Hawks
- New York Knicks (from Dallas Mavericks)
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Houston Rockets (from Portland Trail Blazers)
- Houston Rockets (from Milwaukee Bucks)
- Los Angeles Clippers
- Denver Nuggets
- Brooklyn Nets
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Phoenix Suns
- Utah Jazz
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