Detroit officials traveled to New York on Wednesday, met with Cunningham a final time and finalized the decision to choose him at No. 1 in meetings Thursday morning, sources told Wojnarowski.
With the Pistons expected to take Cunningham, sources told ESPN that the Houston Rockets continue to trend toward Jalen Green with the No. 2 pick. Likewise, the Cleveland Cavaliers are trending toward Evan Mobley at No. 3, according to sources.
Cunningham is a dynamic 6-foot-8 point guard who completed his lone freshman season as Big 12 Player of the Year and a consensus All-American.
Cunningham, who won the Wayman Tisdale Award as the top freshman in college basketball, led the Big 12 in scoring with 20.1 points per game -- the fourth-highest mark by a freshman in league history -- while also ranking in the top 10 in rebounding (6.2, ninth), field goal percentage (.438, eighth) and free throw percentage (.846, third).
Cunningham often saved his best moments for late-game surges. In his most dynamic performance, he scored 10 of his 40 points in overtime to help the Cowboys win at rival Oklahoma. He finished his college career by scoring 24 points in Oklahoma State's 80-70 loss to Oregon State in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Detroit, after taking three players in the first round of last year's draft -- Killian Hayes (seventh), Isaiah Stewart (16th) and Saddiq Bey (19th) -- will now add a high-end talent to its mix. It will be the Pistons' first top-five selection since they took Darko Milicic second overall in 2003, and their third in the past 40 years. They also took Grant Hill third overall in 1994.
Detroit, which finished 20-52 last season, has the top overall pick for the first time since drafting Hall of Fame center Bob Lanier out of St. Bonaventure in 1970.