James Edwards III: Can confirm the @Adrian Wojnarowski …

More on No. 1 pick

Before long, Jalen Green was the highlight of the G-League—the fastest player on the court, a multi-level scorer and apt defender, all the while delivering the same highlight reel, high-flying displays that made him famous on the internet. He’d write down goals on yellow sticky notes on his door and cross them off when he accomplished them. Before leaving that Walnut Creek apartment and relocating to LA, the only one left read, “Be the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft.” “Number one pick,” he tells me, “that would be a dream come true. I ain't going to lie. That happens, I'm going to have a breakdown,” he laughs. And, naturally, he has preference in mind. “I want to live in Detroit.”
There’s rarely quiet around Jalen now: the buzz of a nearby phone, the clicking of cameras, the throngs of fans can be incessant. The unhinged Instagram comments on casual pictures with friends from people he doesn’t know, the constant judgements on his behavior, the cold shoulder when he comes back home to Fresno. "Fresno's like a small city, so it’s real small minded. It’s like a crab bucket,” Jalen admits, dropping his head back underneath his hoodie. “You've got a bucket full of crabs. They all pull on you when you try to get out. You can fall into crime there, all that type of stuff. If you don't have the right home, right surroundings, right people around you, that shit can lead you down the wrong path.”
“Number one pick,” he tells me, “that would be a dream come true. I ain't going to lie. That happens, I'm going to have a breakdown,” he laughs. And, naturally, he has preference in mind. “I want to live in Detroit.” He feels that spot is important to his journey, a reward for his endurance. When I ask him as dinner ends what he wants out of his career, he offers a singular ambition. “I want my respect,” Jalen tells me. “As a person and a basketball player. What comes with this is that people don’t know what you’ve got to sacrifice and go through. Especially when you’re in a small city and basketball takes you down this road and everyone’s still in that small city. It’s personal. A lot of people talk about you on the side. It can get back to your family and everything. And they don’t know what you’ve been through, by yourself, while you’re on that journey.”
A commitment by the Detroit Pistons to select Cade Cunningham first overall "could be imminent," sources tell Jonathan Givony of ESPN. Both the front office and ownership are on the same page on Cunningham.
There’s a lot of group think at the top of this draft. Across the 14 different big boards I included, all but two had Cade Cunningham as the top prospect. Similarly, Evan Mobley, Jalen Green, and Jalen Suggs are ranked in the top four in some order in the vast majority of big boards. I kind of expected there to be more diversity for the simple reason that there’s not really any penalty on the media side for being wrong about draft prospects — draft heads are still going to click and read draft content.
The Pistons, their general manager said Tuesday afternoon, remain open to all possibilities a little more than 48 hours ahead of Thursday night’s NBA draft – with all eyes on the Pistons with the No. 1 pick. “I said it from the onset: We’re going to have a process and we’re going to turn over every stone,” Troy Weaver said. “That’s what we’re doing. Everybody’s made the pick but us. But we’re going to continue to do our work, turn over every stone and land where we’re going to land. We’re confident in our work and we’re enjoying the process.”
Rival front offices continue to wonder: Are the Detroit Pistons legitimately cooling on Cade Cunningham as the No. 1 overall selection … or simply trying to encourage stronger 11th-hour trade offers for the top pick? One league source insists that one of the factors keeping the Pistons from committing fully to the selection of Cunningham is Jalen Green’s recent stellar workout that apparently made the strongest of impressions.
It would be a surprise if the Pistons don’t keep this pick and draft Cunningham, but league sources say that Jalen Green had an outstanding workout with Detroit last week. The front office will mull trading down if teams keep making offers, but teams will have to pay a significant price to move up. Unless things quickly change in the next 48 hours, expect Cunningham to bring his versatile talents to the Motor City.
Cade Cunningham has been the public favorite to go No. 1 to the Detroit Pistons since the lottery. While Detroit is surely doing its due diligence, is there any reason to doubt that Cunningham will be the first name we hear on Thursday night? Matt Babcock: I expect Cade Cunningham to be the top overall pick in this draft, selected by the Detroit Pistons. However, I’ve been told that the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder have been knocking the Pistons’ door down. Rumor has it that the Thunder offered the No. 6 pick and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in exchange for No. 1 -- the Pistons declined. If the Pistons receive an offer better than that one, they may need to seriously consider it.
Stadium Bets: The Rockets are pursuing the No. 1 overall pick from the Pistons, according to our #NBA Insider @ShamsCharania . Check out Draft Decisions, presented by @FDSportsbook .

https://twitter.com/StadiumBets/status/1419000761967685634
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."
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.

https://twitter.com/NicolasHenkel/status/1417265024125517824
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.
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.”
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.
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.

https://twitter.com/excelsm/status/1380916172309344256
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."
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.”
Kevin O'Connor: Cade Cunningham is the real deal. pic.twitter.com/oR7koKCBHr

http://twitter.com/KevinOConnorNBA/status/1337880697864916993
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.'”
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.”
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.
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.
Storyline: No. 1 pick
More HoopsHype Rumors
September 18, 2021 | 5:41 pm EDT Update
You’re here for at least the next five years now that you’ve signed an extension. Do you allow yourself to think – or dream – about what might come over that time span since you’ve talked openly about wanting to win a title in New York? Have you allowed yourself to think about how things might progress? Julius Randle: Obviously, it’s a process. Everything is a process. We’ve been building this from the ground up. But for me, personally, that is the expectation (winning a title in New York). That’s what I want to happen within that time frame. There’s a lot of things, factors that go into that. So obviously you’ve got to weigh that stuff in.
Julius Randle: But as far as myself, I know Thibs (Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau) is thinking (it as well), it’s just win at all costs. For me personally, that’s just how I prepare myself. I prepare myself to compete at the highest level of our game. Like I said, there’s a lot of factors (that go into winning an NBA title). But I trust Leon (Knicks president Leon Rose), I trust Thibs, Wes (Knicks vice president William Wesley), our coaches, Scott (Knicks GM Scott Perry) – all these guys, I trust. That was part of my process in thinking of signing the extension and that’s my goal, that’s our goal as a team and the guys that are around us. We want to be able to say that we won a championship here in New York. I don’t think there’s any better feeling than that.
Did you guys see the video clip of Trae Young at the Garden with WWE? Do you care about that stuff? Julius Randle: Yeah I see it. But honestly, I don’t care. Obviously, that’s (for) entertainment purposes and all that (stuff), so I let people enjoy it. For me, honestly, I don’t care. I honestly didn’t even watch it. Knicks fans, they’re going to make a big deal out of it – they didn’t like it (laughs). But it’s all fun and games and hopefully they enjoyed it.
September 18, 2021 | 12:10 pm EDT Update

Rockets re-sign Dante Exum, waive Tyler Bey

The Rockets have officially re-signed guard Dante Exum and waived Tyler Bey to create a roster space for him, according to the NBA’s transactions log. Hoops Rumors’ JD Shaw was the first to report the Bey transaction (Twitter link). With John Wall not expected to play for the team this season as it seeks to trade him, the Rockets were in the market for another point guard. The Rockets’ interest in Exum surfaced on Tuesday.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 17 more rumors

Timberwolves sign Leandro Bolmaro

When the Timberwolves traded up to get Leandro Bolmaro last November in the 2020 NBA Draft (yes, it was less than a year ago… it still feels weird), the question was would it be a year or two before Bolmaro came over from Barcelona to play in the NBA. The answer is one. Minnesota reached a deal and Bolmaro will be with the Timberwolves in training camp, the team announced Saturday. This is not a surprise; he was expected to come over this season. He will be playing on a rookie scale contract.
September 18, 2021 | 8:54 am EDT Update
There are reports that Anthony Davis will play center for the Los Angeles Lakers this coming season with LeBron James taking the power forward position. In the past AD said that he does not love playing the five but can do it if needed. Lakers legend James Worthy thinks that the best option is to use the former number one pick in the post. “I think initiating Anthony Davis in the post is the best option,” Worthy said on Spectrum SportsNet. “I’ve never been one of those players to say ‘I don’t wanna play three, I wanna play four. I wanna play.’ I don’t know what the problem is, maybe who he defends or where he is on the floor. I think the five is a good spot for him. Because other fives don’t have a shot at guarding him.