After securing the number one overall pick in the 2021 NBA draft, The Detroit Pistons are officially on the clock until they make their selection July 29th. Amid smoke screens and speculation, there is some question as to who that pick will be, but it should be confidently believed that the pick will be Cade Cunningham, a 6’8” guard from Oklahoma State. Not only has he been the consensus number one pick the entire year, but he’s also a perfect fit for Detroit. Whether it’s his offense, defense, how he’ll play alongside the other all rookie team players, and even if he fits the current mindset and direction of this team. There should be no question that Cade Cunningham will be going first overall in this upcoming draft.
The Pistons were a young team last year who had a little bit of everything. Saddiq Bey broke multiple franchise and NBA rookie records with his 3-point shooting ability, Isaiah Stewart went toe to toe with opposing high-level centers, and even Killian Hayes flashed potential to be a flashy passer in his injured rookie season. But when you’re a little good at everything you need a little of everything; enter Cade Cunningham.
Standing at 6-foot-8, he slides in at the shooting guard position with a very versatile skill set, with really not one true weakness to his game. His dominant scoring at all three levels, his high-level finishing and great rebounding skills speaks for itself, but the “weak” spots of his game, or at the least not as good as his strengths, are his passing, and defense. Oklahoma State needed him to be the primary scorer on their squad, due to the rest of the roster lacking equal talent of his. Cunningham has shown to be a creative disruptor, in the past and even during his freshman year. But due to his teammates not capitalizing on his passes, it’s a stat that won’t jump out at you. Now his defense is not in any shape or form an exposable weakness, it’s just not as strong of a strength as his primary strengths. Being 6-foot-8 with a 7 foot wingspan, Cade should be at least comfortable enough to guard 1-4 on the floor and will certainly be a plus defender. The best part about being drafted by the Detroit Pistons is that these so-called weaknesses are covered up by the strengths of the other young guys on the squad.
Cade also fits the timeline and culture of this young Pistons team. He’ll only be 19 at the time of being drafted, and has a fiery competitive edge to his game. Cunningham has already stated he has his sights on the rookie of the year award, an all nba team spot, and at least a playoff berth in his second year. It’s obvious, he’s ready to win, and he is going to make sure he does by any means; luckily for him, the Pistons from the front office, and all the way down to the players on the floor, this team is competitive. When general manager Troy Weaver got hired, he made it very clear that this was a “retool” and not a “rebuild”. Weaver wants to bring Detroit back to it’s championship pedigree which involved Weaver completely overhauling the roster, and being aggressive in the trade/free agent market. He brought in an exciting young nucleus that fits into his already aggressive mindset. And Cade Cunningham could be the final piece to grow next to those guys for years to come.
Regardless of fit, and basketball X’s and O’s, Detroit Pistons fans should be pumped up for this upcoming season. Detroit currently has one of the most exciting young cores in the NBA, the number one overall pick and potential to bring back dominant Detroit Basketball. As for if the Pistons end up taking the promising Cade Cunningham, Las Vegas currently has him going number one at -1000 odds, so you should be confident you’ll see Cunningham in the red and blue. So have high hopes, except fun, and get used to these young Piston players. We should be hearing the names of these young guys for a very long time.