The Pistons’ horrendous season panned out in the end, as they won the NBA draft lottery Tuesday night.
That will give Detroit the rights to the likely first-overall pick in Cade Cunningham, who can play point guard or wing at 6-foot-8 and will jump-start their rebuild.
The Pistons are a youthful group that saw Saddiq Bey finish fourth in the rookie of the year voting while rookie point guard Killian Hayes showed promise. The Pistons had a 14 percent chance of winning the lottery, the top percentage along with Houston and Orlando.
Cunningham, Jalen Suggs, Jalen Green, Jonathon Kuminga, Evan Mobley are touted as the top five picks.
The Rockets will pick second, putting them in position for one of the Big 5. Cleveland will pick third and Toronto moved up to snare fourth. The Magic will pick fifth and also eighth thanks to a previous trade with the Bulls.
The Warriors also wound up with two picks — Nos. 14 and 7. Golden State took the Timberwolves’ pick that was top-three protected. The Warriors appear open to making trades to land a veteran with the vision of being back in the title race with Klay Thompson’s anticipated return.
Here is how the 2021 NBA Draft Lottery played out:
1. Detroit Pistons
2. Houston Rockets
3. Cleveland Cavaliers
4. Toronto Raptors
5. Orlando Magic
6. Oklahoma City Thunder
7. Golden State Warriors (via Minnesota Timberwolves)
8. Orlando Magic (via Chicago Bulls)
9. Sacramento Kings
10. New Orleans Pelicans
11. Charlotte Hornets
12. San Antonio Spurs
13. Indiana Pacers
14. Golden State Warriors