The Houston Rockets have three first round picks, including the #2 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, but they’d love to acquire #1 overall pick in a trade with the Detroit Pistons to grab Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham.

NBA Draft #1 Pick Houston Rockets trade Detroit Pistons Cade Cunningham Golden State Warriors
All-American Cade Cunningham from Oklahoma State is the consensus #1 pick in the upcoming 2021 NBA Draft, but will the Detroit Pistons draft him or tarde him to the Houston Rockets or highest bidder? (Image: Getty)

The Rockets went 17-55 last season for the worst record in the NBA, yet the Detroit Pistons won the NBA Draft Lottery and the last-place Rockets were awarded the #2 pick.

2021 NBA DRAFT – FIRST ROUND ORDER
  1. Detroit Pistons
  2. Houston Rockets
  3. Cleveland Cavs
  4. Toronto Raptors
  5. Orlando Magic
  6. Oklahoma City Thunder
  7. Golden State (from Minnesota)
  8. Orlando (from Chicago)
  9. Sacramento Kings
  10. New Orleans Pelicans
  11. Charlotte Hornets
  12. San Antonio Spurs
  13. Indiana Pacers
  14. Golden State Warriors
  15. Washington Wizards
  16. OKC Thunder (from Boston)
  17. Memphis Grizzlies
  18. OKC Thunder (from Miami via LAC, PHI, PHX)
  19. New York Knicks
  20. Atlanta Hawks
  21. New York Knicks (from Dallas)
  22. LA Lakers
  23. Houston Rockets (from Portland)
  24. Houston Rockets (from Milwaukee)
  25. LA Clippers
  26. Denver Nuggets
  27. Brooklyn Nets
  28. Philadelphia 76ers
  29. Phoenix Suns
  30. Utah Jazz

The Rockets have a pair of late first-round picks that they can package with the second-overall pick. The Rockets acquired the #23 pick in the draft from the Portland Trail Blazers and received the #24 pick from the Milwaukee Bucks.

Rockets Reboot, Cade Splash Brother?

The Rockets want to reboot their franchise with Cunningham in mind. General manager Raf Stone is eager to wheel and deal their hoard of picks.

Stone already offered the Indiana Pacers one of their late-first round picks plus Eric Gordon in exchange for the #13 pick. Once the Rockets secure the #13 pick, the Rockets will trade #2 and #13 plus a future first-rounder to the Pistons for the #1 pick.

Sounds like a hefty price, but Cunningham could start right away and make an impact for a team that lost 20 games in a row last year.

The Golden State Warriors would package James Wiseman, the #2 pick from last year’s draft, plus a pair of first-round picks to Detroit for the #1 pick. Adding Cunningham to a lineup with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson would created a three-headed monster. The Warriors are also linked with Damian Lillard in trade rumors and could offer a similar deal to acquire Dame.

OKC and Cleveland Love CC

Other teams are also interested in working out a trade with the Pistons for the #1 pick, but nothing concrete as the draft rapidly approaches. The Cleveland Cavs are still trying to pick up the pieces after LeBron James bolted for the LA Lakers three seasons ago. The Cavs have the #3 pick in the draft, but if they’re that desperate for Cunningham, they could trade Darius Garland and the third pick in exchange for #1.

The Oklahoma City Thunder also have a trio of first rounders, including #6 and a couple of mid-round picks at #16 and #18. The Thunder would love to keep Cunningham in the state of Oklahoma.

OKC could also package all three of their picks for Detroit’s #1 pick. The #6 is not as enticing as Houston’s #2 pick, but the mid-round picks have a lot more value than Houston’s back-to-back picks in the back end of the first round.

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