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[The Athletic] Will the Pistons and Rockets make a trade around the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft?

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Sooty, Jul 26, 2021.

  1. Sooty

    Sooty Contributing Member

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    https://theathletic.com/2729515/202...-a-trade-for-no-1-pick-in-2021-nba-draft/?amp

    It’s officially NBA Draft week, which means the chaos is about to ensue.

    There’s already been a fracas surrounding the Detroit Pistons and their No. 1 pick since they were blessed by Lady Luck on June 22. Will they just take Cade Cunningham? Will they move back? The feeling as of right now is that Detroit will stand pat and select Cunningham. However, real interest in the likes of Evan Mobley and Jalen Green make it so that the organization is still mulling over every option and, to quote general manager Troy Weaver, making sure no stone goes unturned.

    If Detroit were to trade the No. 1 pick, the Houston Rockets are one of the frontrunners to make a move. They’ve got the No. 2 pick and a few assets to tack on. The Pistons moving back one spot assures them a player who they’re high on — presumably Mobley or Green — and future draft capital. However, is that form of package worth missing out on Cunningham’s All-Star ceiling?

    Here, The Athletic’s James L. Edwards III (Pistons beat writer) and Kelly Iko (Rockets beat writer) discuss a trade between Detroit and Houston for the top pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.

    Edwards: What do you think Houston will offer or has offered for the No. 1 pick?

    Iko: The No.2 pick in this year’s draft and a 2023 first-round pick via the Washington Wizards (lottery protected). If that pick ends up falling between 1 and 14, I could see the Rockets agreeing to send another 2023 first-round pick courtesy of Milwaukee by way of the P.J. Tucker trade.

    The reasoning behind this is simple. The most recent iteration of a deal for the No.1 pick came in 2017 when Philadelphia sent the No. 3 pick and a future first-round pick to the Boston Celtics for the No. 1 pick, Markelle Fultz. While that 2018 asset had some light protections, the inclusion of the 2019 first-rounder from the Sacramento Kings was enough to get a deal over the line. Because this isn’t the NFL with seven rounds in a draft, this seems like a fair opening offer.

    Edwards: That’s certainly a fair point. My argument would be that, coming into this draft, Cunningham is more revered than anyone in that 2017 class. I’d need a little bit more to consider it. On top of that, how badly do you want the Texas kid to be the face of your rebuild? I’m factoring that in if I’m Weaver and trying to milk all that I can.

    From Detroit’s perspective, I’m not seriously entertaining a trade discussion that doesn’t look like this to start: The No. 2 pick in 2021, the 23rd pick in 2021 and a 2023 first (no protections). Where do you think Houston lands on an offer like that?

    Iko: I could see Houston balking a bit at this counteroffer for a few reasons.

    The Rockets are obviously high on Cunningham, having revamped their scouting and analytics department and have done extensive research on him, as have they have on other incoming prospects. But they are also high on Green!

    Yes, Cunningham has been touted as the top pick for some months now, but this isn’t some “head and shoulders” class. What I mean by that is the gap between Cunnigham and Green, Evan Mobley and Jalen Suggs isn’t astronomical. By the time this 2021-22 season is finished, all four rookies will likely have put together good campaigns. Houston would love the first pick but I wouldn’t call them desperate, if that makes sense. The Rockets are perfectly fine with drafting Green at two.

    Making this deal also restricts some of their draft night wiggle room, as multiple teams have called about picks 23 and 24. The Pistons also brought in Green to work out because they are high on him as well. Getting three first-round picks to move down one spot and take someone high on Detroit’s board seems like a Troy Weaver coup.

    Edwards: Yep, I agree with that. Mobley, too, and that’s why the Pistons want to meet with him before the draft. Those three, in particular, are all prospects Detroit really, really likes.

    Here’s a question: because Cunningham is a Texas kid, is the fan base putting pressure on Rafael Stone and the Rockets to go get him?

    In Detroit, it’s starting to feel like there’s a little public pressure to take Cunningham. He’s said a bunch of nice things about the city and the franchise, also attending a Tigers game during his visit. The Detroit fans have eaten that all up. (You know how fans are.) Now, I don’t think Weaver cares about all that. I think he ends up with whoever he believes will be the best player down the line — and that’s the approach he should have, even if there is initial backlash from the public. I’d trust Weaver and whatever decision he makes at this point. If he thinks Cunningham will be the best player, cool. If he thinks Mobley or Green will be, that’s cool too. He’s built up enough good equity over his decade-plus in the NBA and this past year in Detroit to have free rein to do his thing. However, I do think it’s hard to completely ignore how Detroit fans are reacting to Cunningham.

    But back to my question: are Rockets fans pleading for Cunningham?

    Iko: I don’t think so?

    I wouldn’t say plead. I think what Rockets fans want more than anything are hope and change. How do you achieve that? By drafting smartly, taking calculated risks and positioning yourself to strike when the iron is hot.

    Don’t get me wrong, Cunningham would be excellent in Houston. Assuming John Wall is healthy to open the season, head coach Stephen Silas would have a bevy of playmaking options on the floor, Cunningham slotting next to Wall and the improved Kevin Porter Jr. He could even flank him with one of Jae’Sean Tate or Danuel House Jr. and get really freaky in the open court. There’s just so much to like about his game, whether it be him playing at his own pace, his elite shot-making and the three-level scoring portfolio. His defense is good and even though he turns the ball over a bit more than you like and the handle could be tighter, do Rockets fans care right now? Not really. He’s good.

    But there’s been a real push from fans to take Green. The memes and photoshops have been aplenty on Rockets Twitter but it’s for good reason. Call me crazy, but I can really see a Green-Porter Jr. backcourt being exciting in a year or two, maybe even sooner. That’s a nice blend of athleticism, swagger and scoring. Everything else — playmaking, NBA-speed reps, defense — may take a bit longer, but you’re getting fans excited to tune into Houston games again. Last season was a mess.

    Edwards: I won’t argue with you. It’d be fun as hell to watch.

    Let’s end on this: you don’t think there’s any way Houston gives up No. 2 and, at minimum, two other unprotected first-round picks to move up to No. 1? I don’t think Detroit listens unless that’s the case because Cunningham, obviously, has the potential to be too good to pass up without a truly tantalizing offer.

    Iko: You talk a mean game, Edwards.

    I don’t think Houston wants these talks to turn into some long, drawn-out saga. With that being said here’s what I think they’ll end on. Final offer: The No. 2 and No. 24 pick, the 2023 Milwaukee pick, two future seconds (Houston’s own and Golden State’s in 2024) and cash considerations. It’s an aggressive offer, gives Detroit a lot more juice in the draft cupboard and allows them to take Green this year, a prospect they are quite high on.

    Edwards: I still think Detroit ends up staying at No. 1 and taking Cunningham, the highest-rated prospect, if that’s as far as Houston is willing to go. The Pistons, I believe, would need two really high picks to even think about it. The 2022 Brooklyn pick and No. 24 just don’t quite move the needle. An unprotected future Rockets pick needs to be in there.

    Ultimately, I think both franchises will be very happy without a deal getting done.
     
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  2. steddinotayto

    steddinotayto Contributing Member

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    In Stone We Trust.
     
  3. KingCheetah

    KingCheetah Contributing Member

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    Rockets move up to #1 and select... Jalen... Suggs.

    ...

    ...
     
    Trackwell, RKREBORN, BigM and 4 others like this.
  4. Houston77

    Houston77 COOKIES AND CAKE, MY TEAM BAKED!
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    I'm not giving up any future unprotected FRP. Period.
     
  5. Nook

    Nook Member

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    The X-factor is Tilman Fertitta. He always wants to make a splash and bask in the attention that comes with it. Will he decide he just must have Cunningham and force Stone's hand? He already did it once with Morey (Westbrook). I am hoping that maybe someone can sneak Tilman a couple xanax's in his diet coke (with lime.... don't EVER forget the ****ing lime) an hour or two before the draft starts.
     
  6. cheke64

    cheke64 Member

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    On todays episode, things that have been repeated over a 1,000 times in the random trade thread. A writer makes guesses for what the Rockets might do, but does it so intelligently.
     
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  7. steddinotayto

    steddinotayto Contributing Member

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    Talk about plot twist lol
     
    KingCheetah likes this.
  8. Fulgore

    Fulgore Member

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    Click bait
     
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  9. steddinotayto

    steddinotayto Contributing Member

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    I agree that Fertitta's all about the flex/splash but I would think Green would be just as marketable--if not more--than Cade. If this was a two person race between Cade and Mobley I can definitely see Tilman wanting Cade at all costs because Mobley doesn't have that "star" quality.
     
  10. Clutch

    Clutch Administrator
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    I don't subscribe to the Athletic but I saw they did this article a week ago and Edwards pillaged Iko in the deal, getting four firsts and Houston's unprotected 2023 first. I think Edwards is trying to rip him off again.

    "An unprotected future Rockets pick needs to be in there."

    Sure, ok.
     
  11. xiki

    xiki Contributing Member

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    Don’t the Rox have the #2 pick?

    If Pistons are truly not yet convinced of Cade v Green then how much would it take in reality to swap?

    If Pistons like Green that much then why would they trade down below #2?

    Just asking’…
     
  12. groovemachine

    groovemachine Member

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    While it would be great to get Cade for a fair offer, Tillman better keep his damn hands off the process on draft night! :mad:
     
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  13. Mathloom

    Mathloom Contributing Member

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    It’s a silly negotiating position because Cade’s projected to be an all star so if Detroit is willing to take green or Mobley then the difference in talent is narrow. They wouldn’t be at the table otherwise.

    They’re essentially tipping their cards here, showing they are indifferent about the difference between 1 and 2.

    I would give up #2, 24 and the wizards pick (lotto protected) for #1 and #37.
     
    #13 Mathloom, Jul 26, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2021
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  14. Nook

    Nook Member

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    I think Tilman learned his lesson on what happens with lightly protected #1's are thrown in to get a deal done.

    A lot of the more analytically inclined scouts do not think there is any real appreciative divide between Cunningham and Mobley or even Green (although they tend to not like Green as much).

    Cunningham has a lot to like, but he isn't likely a once or twice a decade talent like some fans seem to think. He has some athletic limitations and can struggle to get separation on offense and his lateral foot movement isn't great defensively.
     
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  15. tmoney1101

    tmoney1101 Contributing Member

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    I cringe every time I hear someone bring up how this years pick will fit with wall. That shouldn’t even factor in. Hopefully we can move him soon even if we have to send a pick to get it done. Maybe a deal with LA since nobody seems to like what they’re offering. I want a full youth movement and our young guards need room to breathe.
     
  16. zeeshan2

    zeeshan2 Member

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    I wouldn't trust Stone again if we got Cade but had to give up an unprotected FRP from us to do so. Way too much
     
  17. vince

    vince Member

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    Unless it’s a #2 and the #24 pick at max, I say move on! I like Cade but I am very intrigued by Mobley and Green too. Maybe it’s because we haven’t delved deep into Cade as it’s been a given he’s going to Detroit, but I’m not willing to give a kings ransom for Cade.
     
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  18. RedRedemption

    RedRedemption Contributing Member

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    Rockets need to hold tight and just accept whatever falls to #2. Don't just give the Pistons free **** and let them decide to take Green or not.
     
  19. RedRedemption

    RedRedemption Contributing Member

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    If Rockets truly want Cade they can try to trade for him AFTER the picks are already in, right? No need to get impatient and just let the Pistons have free reign at our assets.
     
    Easy likes this.
  20. JayZ750

    JayZ750 Contributing Member

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    EXCITING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     

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