The Detroit Pistons took Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham first total at Thursday’s NBA Draft in Brooklyn, however the largest basketball information of the evening belongs to the Los Angeles Lakers, who reportedly agreed to a deal so as to add former MVP Russell Westbrook alongside LeBron James.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Lakers have agreed to a cope with the Washington Wizards for Westbrook, who would return to his native Los Angeles to play for his fourth staff in 4 seasons.
Sources advised ESPN that the Lakers would ship Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and a 2021 draft decide within the proposed commerce.
The Detroit Pistons are on the clock with the primary decide in tonight’s draft in Brooklyn, however the largest NBA information of the evening belongs to the Los Angeles Lakers, who’re reportedly nearing commerce so as to add former MVP Russell Westbrook (proper) to a forged that features LeBron James (left)
Cade Cunningham (Oklahoma State) poses with NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being chosen because the primary total decide by the Detroit Pistons
NBA commissioner Adam Silver, middle, poses for a photograph with gamers projected to be first spherical draft picks earlier than the NBA basketball draft
2021 NBA DRAFT SELECTIONS & PROJECTED ROOKIE SALARIES
1. Detroit Pistons – Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham ($8,131,200)
2. Houston Rockets – G League guard Jalen Inexperienced ($7,275,200)
3. Cleveland Cavaliers – USC middle Evan Mobley ($6,533,300)
4. Toronto Raptors – Florida State ahead Scottie Barnes ($5,890,300)
5. Orlando Magic – Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs ($5,334,100)
6. Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder – Australian guard Josh Giddey ($4,844,700)
7. Golden State Warriors – G League ahead Jonathan Kuminga ($4,422,600)
8. Orlando Magic – Michigan ahead Franz Wagner ($4,051,700)
First-year NBA salaries are predetermined by the NBA’s rookie wage scale
After profitable the franchise’s seventeenth league title contained in the NBA bubble in 2020, the Lakers suffered a first-round defeat to the eventual Western Convention Champion Phoenix Suns within the playoffs this yr largely resulting from accidents to Davis and James.
The Lakers have been additionally criticized for an absence of backcourt depth, with Westbrook, a former UCLA star, will surely tackle.
Los Angeles was beforehand had reported curiosity in buying and selling Kuzma for the Sacramento Kings’ Buddy Hield, however that deal would not be doable if the Lakers full the acquisition of Westbrook.
As for the NBA Draft, Cunningham had been anticipated to go first total to the Pistons. He was adopted by the G League’s Jalen Inexperienced, who went second to the Houston Rockets, USC middle Evan Mobley, who was picked third by the Cleveland Cavaliers, Florida State’s Scottie Barnes, who was taken fourth by the Toronto Raptors, and the fifth-overall decide by the Orlando Magic, Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs.
In a shock transfer, the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder picked Australia’s Josh Giddey with the sixth decide.
Jalen Inexperienced is interviewed earlier than the 2021 NBA Draft on Thursday
Cunningham had been anticipated to go first total to the Pistons. The Oklahoma State one-and-done star may accomplish that purpose Thursday evening because the headliner of a category that features scorers, playmakers and doubtlessly elite defenders on the high. ‘I have been saying for a very long time,’ Cunningham stated, ‘we’ve got among the finest courses in a very long time. And I am actually appreciative of the truth that we have all been pushing one another all through us coming by way of highschool and issues like that’
Cunningham had been extensively anticipated to be the primary identify known as in New York, although Pistons basic supervisor Troy Weaver would not reveal plans earlier this week and stated the staff would take a look at each state of affairs, together with trades.
Ultimately, Detroit caught with the 19-year-old talked about as a possible high decide earlier than ever stepping foot on the Oklahoma State campus.
The 6-foot-8, 220-pound level guard from Arlington, Texas, lived as much as expectations together with his measurement and fluid sport to turn into a first-team Related Press All-American. He averaged 20.1 factors, 6.2 rebounds and three.5 assists with a sport that allowed him to hit from 3-point vary, rating off the dribble or discover teammates out of traps.
Cunningham attended the draft carrying a darkish swimsuit, shirt and tie with sparkles on his collars and cuffs. When the decide was introduced, Cunningham kissed 2-year-old daughter Riley, sitting on his lap, hugged members of the family then took the stage alongside NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to don a blue Pistons hat.
Cunningham – the primary participant in Oklahoma State historical past to be picked No. 1 total – joins a Pistons franchise that has gained 20 video games for 2 straight seasons and hasn’t completed higher than .500 for 5 straight years.
Houston adopted at No. 2 by grabbing preps-to-pros teenager Jalen Inexperienced, who bypassed school basketball to play within the G League. The 6-foot-6 Inexperienced averaged 17.9 factors on 46% capturing 15 video games, displaying off high-flying dunks, a willingness to assault the rim and a promising capturing contact.
Cunningham and Inexperienced headline a category that included scorers, playmakers and doubtlessly elite defenders on the high. That group included Southern California freshman large man Evan Mobley, Gonzaga freshman level guard Jalen Suggs and Florida State freshman ahead Scottie Barnes.
There’s additionally one other participant who took the identical G League route as Inexperienced in ahead Jonathan Kuminga.
The draft is later than its conventional late-June slot for the second straight yr because of the COVID-19 pandemic that interrupted the 2019-20 season. The 2021-22 season is scheduled to return to its regular schedule, with subsequent yr’s draft set for June once more.
After Detroit took Cade Cunningham first and Houston chosen Jalen Inexperienced, the Cavs nabbed the 20-year-old Mobley, a two-way expertise who’s simply tapping into his potential.
The 7-foot Mobley will be part of younger guards Darius Garland, Collin Sexton and ahead Isaac Okoro to present Cleveland a basis to construct from. The Cavs have been in disarray since LeBron James left as a free agent after the 2018 season.
There’s extra purpose for hope.
Shortly earlier than the draft started, the Cavs agreed to amass veteran level guard Ricky Rubio from Minnesota, an individual acquainted with the negotiations advised The Related Press.
Cleveland is sending small ahead Taurean Prince, money and a second-round decide in 2022 to the Timberwolves for the 30-year-old Rubio, stated the one that spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of the NBA has to approve the swap.
The deal for Rubio got here as he was in Tokyo enjoying for Spain’s Olympic staff. He’ll give the Cavs a reliable backup on the level and a mentor for Garland and Sexton.
The Cavs felt as in the event that they have been in a no-lose scenario with the third decide, the very best they’ve chosen since taking Andrew Wiggins first total in 2014 after which buying and selling to him to Minnesota within the deal for Kevin Love.
They listened to quite a few commerce affords earlier than holding on to the decide and taking Mobley, who led the Trojans to the Elite 8 final season. He averaged 16.4 factors and eight.7 rebounds in his one school season and was named the Pac-12’s finest participant, high freshman and finest defensive participant.
Cleveland had a disappointing injury-riddled 2021 season, which ended with the Cavs dropping 16 of their final 18 video games to complete 22-50. They have been by no means actually within the playoff chase, however the staff got here away feeling good concerning the growth of a few of its younger gamers.
Now they have one other one in Mobley, who has been in comparison with a younger Chris Bosh.