With the No. 1 pick in the 2021NBA Draft, the Detroit Pistons selected Cade Cunningham out of Oklahoma State.
In 38 games this season, Cunningham is averaging 16.2 points, 5.3 assists, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game and he is making Pistons fans happy that the team selected him.
But, looking back, was Cunningham the right pick?
In a recent 2021 NBA re-draft, Chad Ford actually has the Pistons passing on Cunningham and instead, selecting Evan Mobley.
Mobley, who ended up being selected No. 3 overall, by the Cleveland Cavaliers, is averaging 15 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.7 blocks per game.
Here is what Ford has to say about the Pistons taking Evan Mobley No. 1 overall in a 2021 NBA re-draft.
The Pistons, like almost every other team in the league, seemed all-in on Cade Cunningham from the beginning of the draft process. There was some flirting with Jalen Green, and a source close to the process told me Detroit general manager Troy Weaver was very high on Evan Mobley but that Weaver couldn’t get much traction with the rest of the front office and ownership.
Given Cunningham’s play in the first half of the season, they didn’t make a bad pick.
But could it have been better? I think so.
Mobley clearly has a higher ceiling than Cunningham.
Mobley started the season hot and continues to be awesome for a rookie, especially on the defensive end, where his unique combination of length, size and agility make him the seventh-ranked defender in the NBA (minimum 1,000 minutes), according to RAPTOR, FiveThirtyEight’s player-rating metric. By that measure, Mobley is in the same league as Draymond Green and ahead of Giannis Antetokounmpo this season.
He can defend everywhere, and he brings such a unique physical profile to the table that he feels like the type of prospect that comes along only a couple of times in a generation.
Offensively Mobley has been pretty good, but not great. He moves the ball well but he’s still figuring out his stretch game, shooting just 30.5% from 3-point range. If he ever gets that into the 38-40% range, he may be as unbeatable as he is on the defensive end.
Nation, if a re-draft was possible, who would you select with the No. 1 overall pick?