Could Warriors trade for No. 1 pick if Pistons want to move down?

Cade Cunningham

With the 2021 NBA Draft less than a month away, the rumors are swirling and the Detroit Pistons, who own the No. 1 overall pick, are at the center of the latest whispers.

ESPN's Jonathan Givony reported Wednesday that Oklahoma State star Cade Cunningham is not a lock to go No. 1, and that the Pistons are exploring the possibility of trading out of the top spot. Givony also reported that the Oklahoma City Thunder, Cleveland Cavaliers, New Orleans Pelicans and Houston Rockets have inquired about what it would cost to leap into the top spot.

Could the Warriors also be interested in leaping up to No. 1 to capture Cunningham, a talented playmaker and scorer who would fit nicely between Steph Curry and Klay Thompson?

The Warriors own the rights to the No. 7 and No. 14 picks, and have 2020 No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman, who the Pistons reportedly were high on heading into last season.

Golden State could push together all of its draft assets, including another future first-round pick, to move up and grab the best prospect in the class, one who can both help them win now and eventually take the torch from Curry as the face of the franchise.

Of course, any chance the Warriors have to move up and select Cunningham is something they have to explore.

At 6-foot-8 with a 7-foot-1 wingspan and incredible passing ability, Cunningham is precisely the type of player the Warriors want to compliment Curry and Thompson. Cunningham has the ideal skill set to run the offense when Curry sits and has the intelligence, talent, and poise to play alongside the Warriors' championship core in crunch time.


Cunningham, of course, is more than a playmaker. During his lone year in Stillwater, the dynamic guard averaged 20.1 points per game while shooting 43.8 percent from the field and 40.0 percent from the 3-point line. He is a crafty driver who excels at getting into the teeth of the defense and finishing or creating open looks for his teammates.

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In short, Cunningham would be a great fit with the Warriors. He's the type of win-now prospect who the Warriors can continue building around in the post-Curry era.

On paper, the Warriors' potential package of three first-round picks and Wiseman appears to be a haul for the Pistons. But even if Detroit does want to move out of the top spot, the Pistons almost certainly won't want to drop past No. 3 where they can still secure either Evan Mobley or Jalen Green.

Of the potential teams who could look to trade for the top pick, the Warriors' package might be the least appealing to the Pistons.

The Thunder, who own 17 first-round picks over the next seven years, could overwhelm the Pistons if they truly covet Cunningham. The Pelicans could offer an All-Star-caliber player in Brandon Ingram if they want to shift their window back and build around the duo of Zion Williamson and Cunningham.

The Rockets and Cavs, who own the No. 2 and No. 3 pick, respectively, probably have the best shot at securing a deal if the Pistons do look to move down as Detroit still could get one of the top three prospects and acquire future draft capital as well.

Rumors have been all over the place with Cleveland. During the NBA Draft Lottery, it was reported that the Cavs could be in the market to trade down if they secured a top-four pick, but now it appears Cleveland could be looking to move up instead.

The Warriors face a critical offseason in which they must upgrade the roster around Curry, Thompson and Draymond Green to elevate the team back to title-contender status.

Golden State will spend the offseason looking for cost-effective veteran contracts or hunting for a blockbuster trade.

But if the Pistons do put the No. 1 pick on the market, the Warriors have to at least gauge the price and see if they can make a competitive offer for a prospect who would solve a lot of their issues in one fell swoop.

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