On June 22, 2021, the Detroit Pistons won the lottery earning the first overall pick in this upcoming NBA Draft. This will be the first time Detroit has had the 1st pick since 1970, drafting Hall of Fame center Bob Lanier. The Pistons roster currently has core pieces such as Killian Hayes, Sadiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart, and Jerami Grant. Despite these being solid pieces, Detroit needs a star to build around.
Cade Cunningham is projected to be the first pick in this year’s draft. Cade is a 6’8” point guard and shows tremendous maturity for someone his age. He was the leader of Oklahoma St. and didn’t disappoint, as they won the Big 12 Tournament and by far, was the best player on the roster. For someone who is 19 years old, he never blamed his teammates and showed the qualities of a franchise player.
On the court, Cade put up impressive numbers with 20.1ppg, 6.2rpg, and 3.5apg. The strengths he presents are through his playmaking, scoring, and lineup versatility. As a facilitator, Cunningham’s vision is remarkable, due to his ability to see over the defense and make the correct reads. With his scoring, his jump shot appeared to be his weakness coming into the season, although that was not the case. He shot 40% from three on 5.7 attempts per game. It’s important to keep in mind that Cade was primarily setting himself up in isolation and forced to take more difficult shots. His versatility is what every NBA team strives to have. Along with being 6’8”, he is 220lbs and 7’0” wingspan. On the defensive end, this allows him to guard any position 1-4 and hold his own. He also brings versatility offensively, as he can play on and off the ball, because of the fact he ranked in the 90th percentile off catch and shoot shots.
Trading out of number 1 would be illogical for them since they need to find the face of their franchise. If anyone is capable of turning the Pistons around, it’s Cade Cunnigham. He is mature beyond his years and is ready to take the NBA stage. This is a prospect worth deeply investing in and not an opportunity Detroit should pass up.
Article written by Bradley and Sean Patten
Photo credit to NBATitleChase (https://www.nbatitlechase.com/2021/06/23/photo-cade-cunningham-in-a-detroit-pistons-jersey/)
Stats Found on Synergy (https://synergysports.com)