Cade Cunningham didn't act surprised to be the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft. There was no reason to do that.
The overwhelming feeling that the Detroit Pistons would use the first choice on Cunningham became reality Thursday night when the Oklahoma State star was the initial pick of the draft at New York.
"Words can't even explain the emotions," Cunningham said of being the No. 1 overall pick. "I'm just so happy to be here and see what I can do on the next level."
Cunningham averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists, ending with Big 12 Player of the Year honors during his lone season with the Cowboys. He led the team in scoring, assists, steals (43) and 3-point baskets (62).
The Pistons went 20-52 last season -- the second-worst record in the NBA -- and missed the postseason for the 10th time in their past 12 campaigns.
It marked the first time Detroit selected first since choosing Bob Lanier in 1970. Lanier was a seven-time All-Star during 9½ seasons with the Pistons and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992.
While the draft roared into overdrive, reports were circulating that the Los Angeles Lakers were on the verge of acquiring former NBA MVP Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards.
Guard Jalen Green went second to the Houston Rockets, big man Evan Mobley was chosen third by the Cleveland Cavaliers, forward Scottie Barnes was selected fourth by the Toronto Raptors and point guard Jalen Suggs from St. Paul was picked fifth by the Orlando Magic.
Australian point guard Josh Giddey went sixth to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The 6-foot-6 Green decided against college basketball and instead played in the G League, where he averaged 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 15 games. Former NBA player and coach Brian Shaw was his coach.
"It helped me become a pro on and off the court," Green said of the G League stint. "Overall, I learned a lot and I'm ready to go in the NBA."
The 7-0 Mobley starred at Southern California and was the Pac-12 Player of the Year after averaging 16.4 points and 8.7 rebounds.
Toronto's choice of Barnes was a bit of a surprise as many draft prognosticators projected Suggs to be the choice of the Raptors. But Toronto opted for a versatile player who started just seven games in his one season at Florida State.
The 6-4 Suggs became the second Gonzaga player to be picked in the top five, joining Adam Morrison (third in 2006 to Charlotte).
"The sky is the limit," Suggs said of being chosen by the Magic. "I'm going to join a great group of guys and great people and excellent guards."
The 6-8 Giddey was climbing up the draft boards in recent weeks. Scouts respected his performance in Australia, where he was National Basketball League Rookie of the Year after averaging 10.9 points, 7.6 assists and 7.3 rebounds in 28 games for the Adelaide 36ers.
The Golden State Warriors had the seventh choice and selected 6-6 forward Jonathan Kuminga of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Kuminga, who left his country for the United States at age 13, played in the G League last season and averaged 15.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 13 games.
Kuminga said the draft represented the first time he saw his parents in six years.
The Magic chose again at No. 8 and selected swingman Franz Wagner of Michigan. The Sacramento Kings used the ninth pick on 6-1 guard Davion Mitchell, the national Defensive Player of the Year while helping Baylor win the national title.
The New Orleans Pelicans chose 10th with a pick that is headed to the Memphis Grizzlies as part of the trade in which Jonas Valanciunas went to New Orleans and Steven Adams and Eric Bledsoe went to Memphis. The choice was forward Ziaire Williams of Stanford.
The other lottery choices were Connecticut guard James Bouknight (11th to Charlotte Hornets), Alabama guard Joshua Primo (12th to San Antonio Spurs), Oregon guard Chris Duarte (13th to Indiana Pacers) and Arkansas guard Moses Moody (14th to Golden State Warriors).