The Rockets Want Cade Cunningham

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The NBA Draft is roughly two weeks away, which means it’s trade rumor time. It was reported today via¬†The Ringer that the Houston Rockets want Cade Cunningham, the projected number one pick. This is interesting given that the Detroit Pistons have the number one pick. While the Rockets can hope that Detroit passes on Cunningham, they may have to make a trade if they want to secure a potential franchise cornerstone.

The Rockets want Cade Cunningham

A Possible Trade

Remember back in the 2017 NBA Draft, when Danny Ainge traded back from the first overall pick to number three to get Jayson Tatum? We could have a similar situation brewing this year. It is rumored that the Pistons like Jalen Green, a shooting guard from the NBA G-League who scouts have said has the highest ceiling in this draft. While the Pistons could just take Green at number one overall, they would lose their leverage by doing so. The Rockets will probably have to offer up at least a first-round pick if they want to make a deal happen. If a trade does go down between these two organizations, it will have massive implications.

The Fit for Both Teams

If the Rockets do get Cunningham, it will be interesting to see how their lineup looks next year. John Wall is the starting point guard but is an odd fit as a veteran on a rebuilding team. Kevin Porter Jr. is an ascending young guard that has flashed his upside when given a chance. He recently tweeted “I’m a point guard,” revealing that he would prefer the Rockets to draft Green. If Cunningham does end up on the Rockets, Porter Jr. would move over to shooting guard and John Wall would be the odd man out. It would be an awkward situation for all involved.

For the Pistons, Green is a perfect fit. He can slide immediately into the starting shooting guard spot. It would not be surprising to see Green lead this team in scoring if he does go to Detroit. The Pistons need as much star power as possible right now, and Green has the ability to be that star.

The Verdict

If the Rockets truly want Cunningham this year, they will have to relinquish some draft capital to Detroit. The Rockets are better off staying put and seeing what Detroit decides to do. A Porter Jr. and Green backcourt is still scary and a better fit for Houston. The Pistons would also be better off drafting Cunningham since their current point guard, Killian Hayes, did not have a great rookie season. Cunningham has been compared by some scouts to Luka Doncic, and if the Rockets do believe that he is as good as advertised, then there is no price too high to go get him.

 

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