The Detroit Pistons won the 2021 NBA draft lottery on Tuesday night, leapfrogging the Houston Rockets.
Houston dropped to second, followed by the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors, who respectively jumped into third and fourth from the fifth and seventh spots in the lottery. The Rockets risked losing their pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder if it fell below a top-four protection on the 2019 Russell Westbrook deal.
The Pistons had never previously moved up in the lottery with their own pick. They last drafted No. 1 overall in 1970, when the organization drafted Hall of Famer Bob Lanier. Whoever Detroit drafts first, he will join a roster that placed 2020 draft selections Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart on the NBA’s All-Rookie teams.
“It’s going to mean a lot for this team,” Pistons legend Ben Wallace, who represented his former team at the lottery, told the ESPN broadcast. “The team is headed in the right direction. We’ve got a group of young guys who come out and play hard on both ends of the floor. It’s one of those teams where guys make plays with their energy and effort, and to add a No. 1 pick to that caliber of team, the sky’s the limit for this team.”