Yesterday was one of the wildest days the NBA has lived in a while. First, Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Lakers were trading for Buddy Hield. Then, Shams Charania said that they were going after Russell Westbrook.
The Lakers completed a huge blockbuster deal to get yet another All-Star next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis, all while the world was waiting to see the outcome of the 2021 NBA Draft.
That's why, even though Westbrook stole plenty of headlines, first-overall pick Cade Cunningham believes that he didn't steal his thunder and that, once it's all said and done, last night will be remembered as his draft day, not as the day the Lakers got Westbrook:
"I think it will be Cade Cunningham’s night, that he got drafted by the Pistons because when people look back, that will be the start of whenever the Pistons restored their franchise and brought back greatness to the city," Cunningham told the media, as quoted by Essentially Sports. “That’s my whole goal stepping into Detroit, to restore that city. They’ve already had championship teams. They’ve already witnessed greatness. I want to be able to bring that back to the city."
That's definitely the kind of confidence you love to see on a first-overall pick. Cunningham has all the tangibles and intangibles to become a generational talent and turn the Detroit Pistons franchise around.
Obviously, given the way their young roster is shaped, it'll be a while before the Pistons are ready to compete at the highest level.
Then again, with Cunningham, Kilian Hayes, Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart, and Jerami Grant on their roster, it's just a matter of time before they break out as one of the most exciting teams in the Eastern Conference. Now, it's up to Cunningham to deliver and make history.