Last month, the Detroit Pistons won the NBA draft lottery, getting the No. 1 overall selection. But according to a report from the Athletic, the team with the No. 2 selection, the Houston Rockets, is in hot pursuit of No. 1.
The Rockets have reportedly been "aggressive" in attempting to nab the top pick, which is expected by most observers to be Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham, regardless of which team is doing the selecting.
One of the assets the Rockets have dangled is guard Eric Gordon, 32, who averaged 17.8 points and 2.6 assists per game in 2020-21.
Houston also has a war chest of draft picks following its trade of James Harden earlier this year. The Rockets got first-rounders in 2022, 2024 and 2026 in that deal. In this draft alone, Houston holds the No. 2 pick, No. 23 and No. 24.
Houston is in a rebuilding phase after going 17-55 in 2020-21 and ultimately trading Harden on Jan. 14.
The Pistons went 20-52. They last had the No. 1 selection in 1970, when they picked future Hall of Fame forward Bob Lanier.
The full order for the first round of the 2021 NBA Draft:
1. Detroit Pistons
2. Houston Rockets
3. Cleveland Cavaliers
4. Toronto Raptors
5. Orlando Magic
6. Oklahoma City Thunder
7. Golden State Warriors (from Minnesota Timberwolves)
8. Orlando Magic (from Chicago Bulls)
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. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Boston Celtics)
17. Memphis Grizzlies
18. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Miami Heat via the Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers and Phoenix Suns)
19. New York Knicks
20. Atlanta Hawks
21. New York Knicks (from Dallas Mavericks)
22. Los Angeles Lakers
23. Houston Rockets (from Portland Trail Blazers)
24. Houston Rockets (from Milwaukee Bucks)
25. Los Angeles Clippers
26. Denver Nuggets
27. Brooklyn Nets
28. Philadelphia 76ers
29. Phoenix Suns
30. Utah Jazz