Much of the chatter I’ve heard the past couple weeks has suggested that the Rockets prefer Jalen Green to Evan Mobley at this spot. There have been reports in recent weeks that Houston has interest in trading up with Detroit to take Cunningham, but the vast majority of speculation from other teams has centered on Green as the presumptive fit at No. 2.
Rod Beard: Cade Cunningham on the top prospects in this draft class: "I've been saying for a long time that we have one of the best classes in a long time. I appreciate that we've all been pushing each other throughout."
James Edwards III: Cunningham on his passing: "I take a lot of pride. Anytime I watch basketball or a player, that shows how much they know the game. ... It's a huge skill. I'm only going to try and get better at it."
Rod Beard: Cade Cunningham on the city of Detroit: "I love Detroit. I've already been listening to Detroit music -- way before the lottery ... it's a city that has a lot going on and getting the sports team rolling will be huge for the city."
Rod Beard: Cade Cunningham on NBA player comparisons: "I hear a lot of the Luka comparisons and I can see it." He said Penny Hardaway, Magic, Jason Kidd are models for him.
Rod Beard: Cade Cunningham on playing without the ball: "I could. Wherever I get placed, I'll find ways to be effective and impact the game for my squad. When I got in to training camp, I'm going to go in and play my game and be made."
Rod Beard: Cade Cunningham on his 2-year-old daughter Riley: "Being a teenage father definitely makes you grow up quickly...she's the top priority. It made me lock in on the sport I love."
James Edwards III: Asked Cade Cunningham what he learned about the Pistons during his visit: "The organization has a lot of great people within it. Starts with the owners. Troy Weaver is a great GM. I learned a lot on my visit. If they take me, I'll be happy to be there."
James Edwards III: Cunningham: "I wanted to meet with the team that had the No. 1 pick because I feel I'm the No. 1 pick. If the Rockets get the No. 1 pick, I'd meet with them if there is enough time."
The Detroit Pistons, owners of the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA draft, are conducting individual workouts with some of the top prospects in the draft pool this week, sources told ESPN. The Pistons hosted Cade Cunningham for a light workout in Detroit on Tuesday, and are slated to bring Jalen Green and Jalen Suggs in for private workouts in the coming days. The Pistons would like to bring Evan Mobley in, but have yet to schedule a visit, sources said.
Cunningham, the longtime front runner for the top overall selection, is not planning on conducting any additional visits, sources said, and would be extremely pleased to land in Detroit. Green, the No. 2 prospect in the ESPN 100, is currently only planning on conducting one additional workout, at the training facility of the Houston Rockets, owners of the No. 2 pick.
James Edwards III: Sure everyone has seen the photos by now lol but Cade Cunningham is in Detroit and met with the Pistons, per sources.
The Rockets are very interested in Oklahoma State forward Cade Cunningham and could make a move to acquire him in the 2021 NBA draft, per Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. Houston currently owns the No. 2 pick, with Cunningham seen as the frontrunner to go at No. 1 overall.
However, reports have indicated that the Rockets have some interest in trading up with Detroit to acquire that pick. Other sources have said that Detroit isn’t a lock to pick Cunningham at the top, anyway, with G League Ignite guard Jalen Green also among the options. Here’s what O’Connor said Monday on The Bill Simmons Podcast: "I’m hearing the same thing as you. That the Rockets love Cade, that they would want to try and get him — whether it’s trading up, or hoping that Detroit passes on him at No. 1."
EuroHoops Scouting: FIBA U19 WC All Tournament Team: Nikola Jovic (Serbia), Chet Holmgren (USA), Zach Edey (Canada), Victor Wembanyama (France), Jaden Ivey (United States). Tournament MVP: Chet Holmgren (USA).
Eurohopes: USA beats France (83-81) and wins the #FIBAU19 with a game to remember by Flag of France Victor Wembanyama ('04): 22 PTS, 8 REB and 8 BLKS. Flag of United States Jaden Ivey ('02) and Kenny Lofton Jr (‘02) combined for 32 PTS while Chet Holmgren (‘02) had 10 PTS and 5 AST in 23 MIN.
According to league sources, it’s believed the Rockets have been fixated on Cunningham but don’t believe in offering up to Detroit what it would take to move into the top spot. That leaves them just deciding to pick the next best player at No. 2, right? Not necessarily. Houston could look to trade out of No. 2 in exchange for a more definite young star, i.e. someone already in the league.
The Pistons will take Cade Cunningham at No. 1 … right? Detroit’s brain trust said all the right things after winning the NBA Draft Lottery — that it wasn’t wedded to the do-everything Cunningham, the brilliant Oklahoma State playmaker, that the Pistons would give strong consideration to Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs or G-Leaguer Jalen Green with the top selection. They’ll no doubt do their due diligence on everyone else, including USC big Evan Mobley. But you can’t overthink No. 1. There’s no one making a true compelling argument against the obvious choice of Cunningham, a 6-foot-8 guard with a 7-1 wingspan, amazing passing ability and poise.
Eastern Conference executive 1: All worthy candidates to at least consider, but Cade is hard to pass on. Eastern Conference executive 2: Now, maybe (GM Troy Weaver) sees something in Mobley that nobody else sees. And that could be him. Troy knows how to pick ’em. So maybe he sees something in Evan that he doesn’t quite see in Cade — long term, for their team. The other part about Evan is Wasserman. Arn (Tellem, the former mega-agent, who is now the Pistons’ vice chairman) created Wasserman, so there could be a connection there.
Western Conference executive 1: He has it. He surveys the game for the first 15, 20 minutes, then says “what do we need?” And he does it. He’s Scottie Barnes (Florida State’s forward, expected to go high in the Lottery) with a jump shot. That’s my problem with Scottie. (Cunningham)’s Jayson Tatum. Same size. Can score from anywhere on the court.
A few weeks ago, the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrated a victorious lottery night, claiming the third pick in this ballyhooed 2021 NBA Draft. But the Cavs could be looking to move up even further -- if the price is right.
A report from ESPN on Wednesday tabbed Cleveland, Houston, New Orleans and Oklahoma City as teams making “overtures” to evaluate what it would cost to trade for No. 1. Even though this is considered “smokescreen season” around the NBA, sources tell cleveland.com the Cavs are “definitely looking into it.”
So, what would it cost for the Cavs to move up two spots? “Go back and look at the Tatum-Fultz deal,” an NBA executive said. “I think it would cost more than that this year.” “It would be similar to what Boston and Philly did a few years ago,” another exec explained. “Probably No. 3 and an unprotected future first, maybe even one of the young guys (Collin Sexton, Darius Garland or Isaac Okoro) drafted recently.”
This isn’t a terrible offer, especially because the Pistons, per sources, would have strongly considered James Wiseman with the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft had they landed it. However, the 2021 NBA Draft is more top-heavy than last year’s class, and Wiseman’s rookie season wasn’t met with great applause.
Brandon Rahbar: Per @Jonathan Givony, OKC is one of a few teams to engage Detroit about trading for the #1 pick. Not likely OKC gives what it takes to get Cade, but it shows the Thunder are looking at ways to move up. If OKC trades up, Cavs at 3 for Mobley or Raps at 4 for Suggs seem more likely.
But would the Pistons really pass on Cunningham if the draft were tonight? I still think the answer is no. I would put Cunningham as the overwhelming favorite to end up in Detroit at that spot still, which, by the way, I've been told he would be very excited about. The recent buzz about other options can be chalked up to a second-year GM doing his homework and trying to make sure he leaves no stone unturned with what might end up being the most valuable pick he ever has in his career.
There is noise about the Detroit Pistons considering multiple prospects. But they'll wind up taking the player every scout expected to go No. 1 all season. Sources say certain Pistons staff members were initially informed that Cade Cunningham would be the pick. Aside from most agreeing he's the top prospect, his fit and archetype are ideal for the Pistons, who could use a high-level creator to initiate offense.
Teams including Cleveland, Houston, New Orleans and Oklahoma City are among those making overtures to evaluate what it would take to move up to the No. 1 slot, sources say, but those talks are at an early stage, and any trade is unlikely to be consummated until much closer to the draft, if at all. From all accounts, Detroit is comfortable standing pat at No. 1 and taking Cunningham but will be active in exploring the possibility of trading down and obtaining additional assets, with Mobley a potential target if something gets done.
The Pistons are also high on USC big man Evan Mobley and G League Ignite guard Jalen Green, with Mobley being a close second to Cunningham, per sources. Other reports suggest that Green is a bigger threat than Mobley to supplant Cunningham as the pick. All three players have the tools to emerge as stars. There’s a clear favorite, but Mobley and Green also possess obvious star power. The Pistons are doing their due diligence.
After the lottery, I got texts from multiple sources that said the Pistons are also thought to be fans of Jalen Green. So look, I’m mocking Cunningham here. Pistons fans who want Cunningham shouldn’t have a meltdown based off this. But this isn’t like 2019 when Zion Williamson was a done deal and everyone in the basketball industry knew it. Cunningham is considered the likely choice here. He’s the overwhelming favorite. But everyone seems to be acting like this is unequivocally a done deal, and I’m not totally convinced of that as of right now, an hour after the lottery.
NBA Central: According to PageSix.com, Cade Cunningham and his camp were in a 'very happy mood and seemed extremely excited' that Detroit had the number one pick 🔥 pic.twitter.com/3npQoJWQbv
Cunningham is now expected to head to Detroit with their first pick. “Cade and his group were in a very happy mood and seemed extremely excited that Detroit had the number one pick,” says our spy.
Based on some of the chatter I heard over the course of this season, there was enough love for Cade Cunningham atop the draft that he felt easy to pencil in, regardless of who won the lottery. That no longer appears to be the case. In addition to Cunningham, league sources expect USC’s Evan Mobley and G League Ignite’s Jalen Green to receive serious consideration from the Pistons’ front office, led by general manager Troy Weaver. The strong sense I’ve gotten is that Detroit will explore all its options before committing one way or another, and that the decision on who to take is far from a done deal.
After the lottery, I got texts from multiple sources that said the Pistons are also thought to be fans of Jalen Green. So look, I’m mocking Cunningham here. Pistons fans who want Cunningham shouldn’t have a meltdown based off this.
Why is it so important to be in the top four this year? By and large, NBA sources believe that group to be among the best we’ve seen in a recent draft, with Cade Cunningham leading the way for most evaluators. He’s followed in some order by — everyone has a drastically different view on this across the board — Evan Mobley, Jalen Green and Jalen Suggs.
James Edwards III: The Pistons get the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. The first time since 1970. Also the first time the team has ever moved up in the lottery.
Excel Sports: Breaking News Cade Cunningham (@CadeCunningham_) is the newest member of the Excel family! #NBADraft #exceling
Cade Cunningham announced Thursday that he will enter the NBA draft after a dynamic freshman season for Oklahoma State that saw him named a first-team AP All-American. "I see them as more human now than I used to," Cunningham said. "I've been looking at those guys since I was a sophomore in high school. Those are the guys I've got to try to outwork right now."
"It's hard to make that decision in the moment, so I just wanted to wait until my head was level," Cunningham said. "But I was just blessed to have that opportunity to be able to enter the draft. I felt like I had did a lot of the work early to be in that position."
Cunningham knows the work is just beginning. The Texas native has already been thinking of ways to improve before the July 29 draft. "Throughout the season, I was just adding things on in my head," he said. "We don't have as much time to just get in the gym and work. I definitely want to get my fluidity and my movement better, whether that's yoga and things like that. Just getting my range of motion and things a lot better. I still want to focus on tightening my handle, shooting the ball better, just getting more consistent at a lot of the things that I do now."
In the last 10 years, only two No. 1 picks had even reached the Final Four, with Kentucky’s Anthony Davis in 2012 being the only one to win an N.C.A.A. title. “Cade expects to be the No. 1 pick,” Cowboys Coach Mike Boynton said before the tournament. “He’s not going to talk about it but he believes he’s the best guy.”
And yet Fraschilla wasn’t sure he saw the No. 1 pick in the draft. That’s how spectacular the 2021 NBA Draft is shaping up and Knicks fans should pay attention. Knicks executives changed plans, showed patience and ultimately punted on 2020 free agency, putting them in No. 1 lottery seed contention. “You know how much I love the draft,’’ Fraschilla told The Post via phone after calling the game. “All these guys do the mock drafts. Honestly, they really don’t know what they’re doing. If you’re an NBA GM, this is going to be a very deep draft at the top. Seven-to-10 kids I believe, late in the college basketball season, we’ll be discussing as who will the league taken as the No. 1 pick.”
“2021 is loaded,’’ said VandeGarde. “Loaded.” VandeGarde said Cunningham, Green, Kuminga and Mobley would’ve certainly been the No. 1 pick in last week’s 2020 NBA Draft if high schoolers were eligible. “Could (Cade) be the No. 1 pick?,’’ Fraschilla, the former St. John’s and Manhattan coach, said. “Absolutely. He’s going to be a very good pro. Does he do things beyond his years? Absolutely. What he’ll be is a potential triple-double guy in the NBA in a 48-minute game. But I don’t want to say after seeing after one college game, ‘yeah, it’s over. He’s No. 1.'”
Justin Kubatko: Anthony Edwards is the first player from the University of Georgia selected with the first overall pick in the #NBADraft. The last top-five pick from Georgia was Dominique Wilkins in 1982.
Shams Charania: Sources: Minnesota is selecting Anthony Edwards with the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft.
According to league sources, as of Tuesday night, the Timberwolves were still calling other teams and attempting to trade this pick. At this point, that would seem to be Minnesota’s clear preference. Interest in the top pick has mostly been tempered going into draft day, but there’s little time left for teams to put their cards on the table, and any real offers will come into play today. Minnesota has pulled out the stops to market this pick and will surely keep trying as long as it can, but the expectation around the NBA on the eve of the draft was that the Wolves would still make this pick and go with Edwards.
I’m told Minnesota’s asking price has been a stumbling block in talks to this point. But there’s still a chance something could materialize for the Wolves, and Obi Toppin would be a strong option if they move back. The Timberwolves were dealt a difficult hand: None of the consensus top three prospects are neat fits for their roster, nor are they ready to aid Minnesota in what they still hope can be an immediate push for a playoff spot.
LaMelo Ball has never lacked confidence, in his game or how he expresses himself. On the eve of the NBA draft, that hasn’t changed. The youngest of the three Ball brothers, the 6-foot-7 LaMelo believes he should be the top pick Wednesday night. “I feel like I’m born for this,” the talented point guard said over Zoom on Tuesday.
Eric Woodyard: Projected No. 1 overall pick LaMelo Ball said he feels he should be the top selection because, "I feel like I’m born for this whole thing going on."
Sources have told The Athletic that the Wolves have not made a decision yet on what they’re going to do at No. 1. The players in the mix here are LaMelo Ball and Anthony Edwards if they keep the pick. James Wiseman seems much less likely as the team is worried about the pairing with Karl-Anthony Towns. Over the last 24 hours, the tide has shifted a bit to where I think Edwards is a bit more likely than Ball. Essentially, the conversations boil down to this: do they take the guy who fits better on this roster in Edwards, who can clearly slide into the 2-guard spot? Or do they take Ball, who probably has a bit more upside? One thing worth noting: this front office led by Gersson Rosas will absolutely consider the idea of which player they believe will retain trade value best going forward as they develop this roster around Towns and D’Angelo Russell.
But if it were up to Edwards, bring on the winter coat and the honor of being selected No. 1 by the Minnesota Timberwolves. “Being the top pick would be exceptionally cool,” Edwards, 19, told The Undefeated in a phone interview. “Who doesn’t want to be the No. 1 pick? That’d be cooler than anything. … It would be a dream come true to be No. 1. But if that’s not a team that wants me, or if I’m not wanted there, then wherever I’m wanted, I’m happy with that. … “I don’t really care where I get drafted to. If you want to draft me and you are ready to take a chance on me, then I’m ready to give you my all.”
Anthony Slater: James Wiseman says he only worked out for the Warriors and Hornets. No Wolves or anyone below #3.
Sources tell Vecenie that the Timberwolves still haven’t finalized a decision on what they’ll do with their No. 1 pick, as they expect “real” trade offers to start coming in during the next couple days. However, Givony and Woo have both heard that most teams around the NBA are operating as if the Wolves will select Anthony Edwards if they stay put.
One thing is clear: Minnesota’s preference is to trade down, possibly with Charlotte for the third pick and other assets, or maybe even farther down the board. League sources say the Wolves love Tyrese Haliburton, and he could be their target if they move outside of the top three (or up from no. 17). Expect more rumors to swirl around Minnesota over the coming week.
Hoop Central: LaMelo Ball had an individual workout today with the Minnesota Timberwolves, via @DraftExpress.
Dane Moore: Anthony Edwards on his workout with the Timberwolves: "I feel like I had a really great workout. The conversation was great... And I feel like I fit there, just like I fit any other team. If they're going to take a chance on me, I'm gonna go in there and give it my all."
Chase Hughes: Possible No. 1 NBA Draft pick Anthony Edwards (Georgia) says he has worked out for the Timberwolves, Warriors and Hornets. That's it, and those are the teams with the top three picks. Not surprising. He's going to go very high, if not first.
I’m fairly certain the first pick in the draft will be either LaMelo Ball or James Wiseman. Ball is the biggest talent, but Wiseman could end up No. 1 if the Wolves trade down with Charlotte. (One possible construction: The third pick, Miles Bridges and the 32nd pick for the first pick, Jacob Evans and Omari Spellman.) That would leave the Wolves in a position to gather some assets and select Anthony Edwards with the third pick, who fits better with the Russell-Towns pair than Ball does.
Marc J. Spears: Potential No. 1 pick @theantman05 told @TheUndefeated he wants to be drafted 1st by @Timberwolves & he isn't scared of Minneapolis' cold temperatures. "I'm not going to play basketball in the snow. So, I'm not worried about it," Anthony Edwards. Story in @TheUndefeated on Friday pic.twitter.com/oSXql5Bd87
According to league sources, Minnesota continues to gauge leaguewide interest in the No. 1 pick. The Timberwolves are an opportunistic front office, and are still hoping to maximize the value of the selection via trade. But there’s an increasing level of skepticism from opposing teams that a suitable trade materializes. Dating back to the spring, this has been a draft class in which few, if any teams truly coveted the opportunity to pick first. The thought that another team might now surrender real assets to in essence pick atop a lottery nobody wanted to win? It doesn’t totally add up. If you assume they end up standing pat, Anthony Edwards continues to look like the most likely option for the Wolves.
LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards and James Wiseman are expected to be the first three picks of the 2020 NBA draft in some order, sources tell Jonathan Givony of ESPN. Former Illawarra Hawks guard Ball is believed to be the most likely prospect to be selected first overall, according to Givony.
Multiple sources have told Bleacher Report the name they keep hearing now for the Timberwolves is James Wiseman. "Some within the Golden State Warriors think Wiseman is going No. 1, whether Minnesota keeps the pick or not," one source plugged into the conversation said.
It's an intriguing development given the obvious questions about whether Wiseman and Karl-Anthony Towns can play together. However, sources also say the Charlotte Hornets "want Wiseman badly," a plausible belief given the team's established backcourt and need for a big man.
LaMelo Ball has reportedly struggled in workouts and interviews, and many league sources believe he could fall out of the top three. Some teams may prefer to play it safe, but if a player with Ball’s upside does slip, a bidding war could commence.
The prevailing feeling is that three players are in the mix to be the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming NBA draft: Center James Wiseman, who played briefly at Memphis. Shooting guard Anthony Edwards, who played at Georgia. Point guard LaMelo Ball, who played in Australia. And that might be the case. Yet, there are indications a fourth player could be added to the aforementioned group: Tyrese Haliburton.
Chad Ford: I've got LaMelo Ball one, James Wiseman, Anthony Edwards three, Tyrese Haliburton four, Killian Hayes five and again, this is not predicting where they will go with a particular team. This isn't a mock draft. This is just overall talent. This was an aggregate of talking to NBA teams and scouts about where they had particular players ranked. And I will just add, there was a lot of variability here as well and so guys are all over the place on NBA boards. There's not what I would call like a major consensus like there was last year was Zion Williamson and Ja Morant.
Chad Ford: I think everybody agrees Edwards is like one, two or three. He's probably the most consistent on boards. He's in the top three on every team. And there's some teams that don't have LaMelo Ball on their top three, interestingly enough, but I don't think I talked to a team that didn't have Anthony Edwards, one, two or three.
The Minnesota Timberwolves met in person with potential No. 1 draft pick LaMelo Ball in Southern California on Tuesday, sources told ESPN's Jonathan Givony. Timberwolves president Gersson Rosas and head coach Ryan Saunders both reportedly took part in the meeting.
Dane Moore: The Timberwolves are actively having trade conversations around pick No. 1, pick No. 17 and pick No. 33, according to Timberwolves executive vice president Sachin Gupta. "Conversations are happening and will continue to happen."
The Hornets are highly interested in selecting former Memphis center James Wiseman in the Nov. 18 draft, two NBA sources with knowledge of the situation told The Observer.
Those sources spoke on the condition of anonymity because they aren’t authorized to represent their teams publicly. Both sources work for teams with top-10 draft picks.
Those sources said they believe the Hornets — who hold the third overall pick — would consider trading up if it would secure Wiseman, who played just three college games at Memphis before opting out of his freshman season and turning pro. One of those sources said he views Georgia guard Anthony Edwards as the Hornets’ backup plan if Wiseman isn’t available to Charlotte.
Dane Moore: The quote Gersson Rosas gave yesterday about there not being a prospect who has "separated himself" is being misconstrued. He was agreeing with the premise of the question posed to him that the "public" doesn't see a clear No. 1. This is what Rosas said to us on the Zoom call:
The Minnesota Timberwolves will come up with a handful of trade scenarios, but they could have a tough time finding the right partner. The level of interest in Anthony Edwards isn't overwhelming, and point-guard-needy teams hoping for LaMelo Ball don't seem to have the right assets for a trade. Most scouts and executives we've spoken with believe that Ball would have the edge if Minnesota stays put. Sources also tell Bleacher Report that the Wolves like Obi Toppin, but it's unclear if they'd be willing to take him at No. 1.
September 25, 2022 | 9:53 am EDT Update
Orlando Magic guard Markelle Fultz suffered a fracture in his big left toe, a league source told the Orlando Sentinel Sunday. Fultz suffered the injury during a preseason workout before returning to Orlando and imaging confirmed the fracture. Surgery won’t be required but he’ll likely miss training camp, which tips off Tuesday at the Magic’s new state-of-the-art AdventHealth Training Center.
Looney entertained other suitors. But ultimately, the three-time NBA champion and the Warriors were able to agree on a three-year, $22.5 million deal. “I wanted to come back here, have another chance at a championship,” Looney, speaking for the first time with the media since he signed the deal in July, said Saturday after the Warriors’ first day of training camp. “This is the final place, where I really wanted to be.”
“First of all, if you play at 9.30 and we come on at 10 and we say something, it’s just what we see. The mental thing ain’t come out until everybody start bashing you, then you let people know you have mental health problems. “And if you go back, Donzel is a witness he’s a producer on the show, I think I ever did it one the show. I did on you I told the world, I said ‘He did DM me he told me he’s going through some problems,’ and I said I was going to back up and then I told him in the DM ‘Okay, the reason why people don’t know what’s going on because you ain’t talking.’
“But as far as what I saw and I speak on what I know, I know how to get to that next level. He knows that and yes, you can be my brother, but I ain’t gonna always sugarcoat things, I’m gonna tell you the real. I ain’t never sugarcoat. I want you to get to the level, to the level, to the level. But you can’t say I’m hating because all the stuff you’re doing it because you saw me do it… If you’re greater, you can’t be a hater.”
Dwight Howard tells TMZ Sports he’s dead serious about his interest in joining the WWE — explaining he’d trade the basketball court for the wrestling ring this year if the offer was right. Howard showed back in July he certainly has the chops to cut it in the squared circle — delivering an epic promo after crashing a WWE tryout in Nashville.
In fact, Dwight said if the offer to wrestle in the WWE was better than one an NBA team could give him — he’d have no qualms taking it. “Whatever opportunity is best,” the NBA free agent said. As for what kind of personality Dwight would have in the org. — he said he could be both a hero and a villain.
The Celtics employee with whom Ime Udoka had an affair helped make all his travel arrangements … and that job sometimes included organizing travel for his fiancee, Nia Long. Sources connected to the couple and the NBA franchise tell TMZ … one of the staffer’s duties included planning Udoka’s team-related travel, and we’re told she was also involved in booking travel for Nia to come to Boston or to road games.