2021 NBA Draft Profile


Detroit Pistons

2021 Draft Picks:

1, 37, 42, 52
2020-21 Season: 20-525th place, Central DivisionDid not make playoffs
1Cade CunninghamGOklahoma StateUSA
37JT ThorFAuburnUSA
42Isaiah LiversFMichiganUSA
52Luka GarzaCIowaUSA
Agreed in principle to acquire Balsa Koprivica (No. 57) from CHA in exchange for JT Thor (No. 37)
View More

Draft Outlook

The Pistons had a tough year, as far as wins and losses, but it was time well spent in terms of player development and hitting a reset button. GM Troy Weaver got rid of any mixed messages, trading Derrick Rose to the Knicks and working a buyout with Blake Griffin. That further cleared minutes for an impressive crop of rookies: Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart, Saben Lee and (once he returned from hip injury) Killian Hayes. That crew plus Kia Most Improved Player candidate Jerami Grant need someone to organize their attack, to rally around, to shoot with range and defend. Detroit is sitting pretty to address much of that with the overall No. 1 pick.

A Stat That Matters

28% — The Pistons got 28% of their minutes from rookies, the league’s highest rate. They were also the only team with two players on the All-Rookie teams.

The Way To Go

It’s possible the Pistons could trade the No. 1 pick for proven help at multiple spots and/or future assets. But even just typing that makes it seem silly, given what they can add right now with their rebuild already underway. The consensus No. 1 guy is Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham, a 6-foot-8 wing with play- and shot-making ability. Cunningham is one of those players who should thrive swiftly swapping the NCAA game for the NBA, and some Pistons insiders believe he and Hayes – the No. 7 pick last year – can team up in the backcourt. Detroit also has three second-round picks – Nos. 37, 42 and 52 – to use for projects and depth, as trade assets or for draft-and-stash Euro prospects.

Under Contract

G: Killian Hayes
G: Cory Joseph
G: Rodney McGruder
G: Deividas Sirvydis
G/F: Josh Jackson
F: Saddiq Bey
F: Sekou Doumbouya
F: Jerami Grant
F: Isiah Stewart
F/C: Mason Plumlee
C: Jahlil Okafor

Free Agents

G: Hamidou Diallo (restricted)
G: Wayne Ellington (unrestricted)
G: Frank Jackson (restricted)
G: Saben Lee (restricted)
G: Dennis Smith Jr. (restricted)
>2021 Free Agent Tracker

Last Year’s Draft

2020: Killian Hayes (7), Isaiah Stewart (16)*, Saddiq Bey (19)*, Saben Lee (38)*
*Acquired via trade

Steve Aschburner