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Report: Rockets aggressively trying to trade up for Pistons’ No. 1 pick

Cade Cunningham in Oklahoma State-Texas Big 12 Basketball Tournament - Championship

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - MARCH 13: Cade Cunningham #2 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys drives as Brock Cunningham #30 of the Texas Longhorns defends during the Big 12 Basketball Tournament championship game at the T-Mobile Center on March 13, 2021 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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The Rockets, Cavaliers, Thunder and Pelicans are reportedly interested in trading up with the Pistons for the No. 1 pick.

For Houston – which has the No. 2 pick – it might be more than mere due diligence.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

The Rockets have been aggressive in their pursuit of Detroit’s No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft and have also discussed guard Eric Gordon in trade scenarios, sources said.

Presumably, those Eric Gordon trade talks are separate from trying to trade up with the Pistons. Detroit has little use for the 32-year-old due $37,787,178 over the next two years.

If the Pistons like Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham most, a trade seems unlikely. Houston could offer assets (like the Nos. 2, 23 and 24 picks plus future picks) to trade up, allowing Detroit more chances to draft stars. But teams rarely trade out of the No. 1 pick for that type of package when they also want the consensus top prospect.

However, if the Pistons like someone else – like Jalen Green or Evan Mobley – most, a trade seems likely. Detroit could gets its top choice at No. 2 plus additional assets. It’d just be a matter of negotiating the most-favorable return from the Rockets.