Tread lightly: Pistons, Cade Cunningham at center of NBA lying season

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - MARCH 21: Cade Cunningham #2 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys reacts against the Oregon State Beavers during the second half in the second round game of the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Hinkle Fieldhouse on March 21, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) (Gregory Shamus, 2021 Getty Images)

This was first published in the Pistons Pivot Newsletter, sign up for it here or at the bottom of this article.

Hey, Pistons fans! Welcome back to another Pivot newsletter. The NBA Finals are in full swing, with the Suns taking a 2-0 lead, heading back to Milwaukee this weekend. I still can’t believe Giannis is playing after what happened to his knee. As my colleague and resident Bucks fan Dustin Block said to me, “it pays to be young and the strongest player on the planet.” Indeed it does, Dustin.

I’m not even sure who I should be rooting for in this NBA Finals series; I like the Bucks and appreciate that Giannis is sticking with a smaller market team while trying to win a title. I also love the Suns and Michigan-native Devin Booker, who said this week that his all-time favorite player is Richard Hamilton. I’ll be happy with either team winning it.

👀 Pistons draft rumors abound

So, I wanted to take this newsletter to talk about something I like to call NBA lying season. This is when NBA rumors begin to fill the blogs and social media platforms with absolute nonsense.

It happens a few times every season; near the trade deadline, during free agency, and before the draft. Right now, the Pistons are at the center of the draft portion.

The Pistons won the NBA Draft Lottery in June, winning the No. 1 pick for the first time since 1970. The presumptive No. 1 pick on every draft board is Cade Cunningham, a player we profiled in the last newsletter.

Since then, article after article, report after report, quotes taken out of context, or just made up scenarios about the Pistons trading the pick, or somehow passing on Cunningham have filled the interwebs.

Pistons GM Troy Weaver is not new to this game. He has been working draft boards for years and years, one of the top draft experts for the Thunder, a team that drafted Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden. Make no mistake -- Troy Weaver knows exactly what he’s doing. And he isn’t going to mess around and take a risk with the No. 1 pick.

The Pistons are going to draft Cade Cunningham. It’s going to happen. Can I say this with 100% confidence? No. But let’s say 99.9% confidence. Short of a Godfather-type trade offer, it’s happening.

Any article or rumor you see out there suggesting otherwise is simply a clickbait attempt to get a conversation moving about something that isn’t going to happen. The Pistons aren’t passing on Cade Cunningham. You will not see ClickOnDetroit covering any of these rumors.

This is the problem with sports media these days. If there’s nothing to debate, there’s nothing to talk about. So why not make something up? The Pistons getting the No. 1 pick is the worst thing to happen to Pistons bloggers -- there’s no real debate about who they should draft. With ESPN airing hours of sports debate shows every day, this is what happens -- if there’s nothing to debate, how do you fill the time?

Be careful out there -- NBA lying season goes until the draft on July 29. And you can bet Cade Cunningham will be rocking a Pistons hat at about 8:07 p.m.

⭐ Bright spots

I’m looking forward to seeing Pistons forward Jerami Grant at the Olympics with Team USA basketball.

Grant is the only Piston on the roster, joining Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, Jayson Tatum, Devin Booker and several other big names. I think it’s great. Grant will get to play with some proven winners, hopefully he’ll bring some of the juice back to training camp.

Pistons young guns Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart are practicing and scrimmaging with Team USA, too, even more added experience.

The U.S. men have collected a medal in all 18 Olympics in which they have competed, including 15 gold medals, one silver and two bronze medals. The American men own an impressive 138-5 (.965 winning percentage) all-time record in Olympic action. The USA Men’s National Team will tip off a five-game exhibition series against Nigeria on July 10.

🏀 Shoot your shot

Thanks for reading the Pistons Pivot Newsletter. Feel free to reach out with any comments or ideas you have about the team -- or just to say hello. Until next time,

- Ken Haddad (Contact me: Email | Twitter)

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About the Author:

Ken Haddad has proudly been with WDIV/ClickOnDetroit since 2013. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters, and helps lead the WDIV Insider team. He's a big sports fan and is constantly sipping Lions Kool-Aid.