Trade News, Fashion Statements & More

That could be the ideal way to continue an offseason rich on rumors. The Detroit Pistons officially got the party started by selecting Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham first overall, marking the 12th straight year a freshman was taken with the top pick.

The 22nd pick was eventually shipped to the Indiana Pacers for Aaron Holiday. Kentucky’s Isaiah Jackson was selected with the pick.

Out East, the Philadelphia 76ers reportedly remain active in their attempts to trade three-time All-Star Ben Simmons.

With other teams shuffling the deck via draft or trade, let’s dive into another frenzied start for the NBA offseason.

Russell Westbrook heads home to L.A.

In his lone season as a Wizard, Westbrook led the NBA with 38 triple-doubles en route to surpassing Oscar Robertson’s all-time record. Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis have combined for 34 All-Star selections.

According to Elias Sports Bureau, the 2010-11 Celtics are the only team in NBA history to enter a season with a trio of players with that many All-Star selections.

Warm welcomes all around

Cade Cunningham is just the Pistons’ third top overall pick in the Common Draft Era (since 1966), and the team’s first since Hall of Famer Bob Lanier in 1970.

No. 2 pick Jalen Green made history of his own by becoming the highest draft selection in G-League history. He is the first non-college player to be drafted in the top-2 since Andrea Bargnani went first in 2006.

Upon finally realizing their draft-day dreams, Cunningham and Green both received warm welcomes from their new respective squads.

Rounding out the top-five picks

With the third overall selection, the Cavaliers selected USC product Evan Mobley, whose selection is tied with O.J. Mayo (2008) for the highest drafted player out of USC in the common draft era (since 1966).

They’re the only Trojans to be drafted in the top-five. As a Trojan, Mobley became the first Pac-12 player to win Freshman of the Year, Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors in the same season.

Florida State’s Scottie Barnes went fourth overall to the Toronto Raptors. In his lone collegiate season, he became the third consecutive FSU player to win ACC 6th Man of the Year honors (Patrick Williams in 2019-20, Mfiondu Kabengele in 2018-19).

Barnes’ selection ties the highest draft slot by any player in Florida State history.

Going fifth overall continued what has been a fine year for Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs.

The former Bulldog hit the fourth game-winning buzzer beater in Final Four history against UCLA earlier this year and is now a centerpiece for Orlando Magic basketball.

Suggs is the fourth top-five NBA draft pick who hit an NCAA Tournament buzzer-beater. He joins Christian Laettner, Steve Smith, and Mike Miller.

More dreams come true throughout the first round

With the no. 7 selection, the Warriors drafted Jonathan Kuminga of the G-League Ignite. He was originally the top recruit in the 2021 class before reclassifying for 2020.

Kuminga was the second-leading scorer and rebounder on the Ignite last season. He recorded four double-doubles. His selection marks the first time multiple G-League players have been selected in the first round of the same draft.

Golden State followed up Kuminga’s selection by taking Arkansas’ Moses Moody no. 14 overall. He is the first Razorback taken in the first round since Ronnie Brewer in 2006.

Better late than never, right? Duke forward Jalen Johnson was originally projected as a lottery selection in this year’s draft.

Unfortunately, Johnson didn’t finish his lone season in college (13 games) and hasn’t played a full hoops campaign since his junior year of high school. That said, the Hawks see plenty upside in Johnson’s game.

He opened his college career with a 19-point, 19-rebound effort vs Coppin State on 8-8 shooting, which set a Duke freshman record for most points in a game on 100{028e8b43b440f88d50a94b0ac799d5b93a220d942414697744f001bd74eb64d0} shooting.

Remembering Terrence Clarke

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver took a moment to recognize the passing of Kentucky’s Terrence Clarke. Also originally projected as a lottery selection, Clarke passed away in a car accident in April.

He made eight appearances during only season as a Wildcat. The highlight of his college stint was a 22-point outing against Georgia Tech on December 6, 2020.

Silver invited Clarke’s family onto the stage to welcome him as an honorary draftee.

Prospect and psychic?

The Knicks are coming off their first playoff appearance 2013. Newly-drafted Quentin Grimes, whose rights will go from the LA Clippers to New York, apparently has thought long and hard over his new team’s championship hopes.

He just happened to be far ahead of everyone else.

Notable selections from the second round

With the 33rd selection, the Orlando Magic drafted Jason Preston out of Ohio before trading his rights to the Clippers.

Last season, Preston was 1 of 3 D-I players to average at least 15 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists (Ayo Dosunmu and Marreon Jackson). He’s the first player drafted out of Ohio since Brandon Hunter in 2003.

The Chicago Bulls took Ayo Dosunmu from Illinois at 38th overall. The Chicago native made history with the selection of his hometown team. Dosunmu joins Derrick Rose as the only Chicago-born players drafted by the Bulls in the lottery era (since 1985).

With the 52nd pick of this year’s draft, the Pistons bolstered their frontcourt by taking Luka Garza, who won consensus Player of the Year honors during his final season at Iowa.

Garza’s draft slot makes him the lowest-drafted Wooden Award winner since it was first handed out in 1976-77. The previous such mark was 34th overall by Frank Mason III in 2017.

ESPN Stats and Information contributed to this story.

Previous post Hmong Americans are often obscured by model minority myth. Why Suni Lee’s win means so much.
Next post Cigar salon taking fire from neighboring apartment dwellers over odors