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2021 NBA Draft: Analyzing how Cade Cunningham fits with the Pistons

2021 NBA Draft: Analyzing how Cade Cunningham fits with the Pistons

Cade Cunningham is officially a Detroit Piston. After being selected No. 1 overall, the Oklahoma State do-it-all prospect will now be the face of a new era in the Motor City.

BasketballNews.com's NBA Draft Writer Derek Murray provided some insight on how Cunningham will settle into his new role as the face of the up-and-coming Pistons organization.

What are your thoughts on the fit between Detroit and Cade Cunningham?

I love the idea of a Cunningham-Killian Hayes backcourt in Detroit. Two players who are comfortable with the ball in their hands, know how to play with change of pace, and have excellent vision as facilitators. Those two will provide great versatility for years to come, and is a tremendous combo to build a team around.

What role do you envision for Cunningham next season?

Cade should get the ball, and the offense, immediately. Detroit has a really nice young core already, and I think getting as many reps with them as possible is important. Even for one of the most NBA-ready prospects we’ve seen in a while, the game is still going to be moving really fast so I think getting him acclimated to that quickly is important. I am also curious to see him in a more ancillary role when Hayes is running the offense, but overall, I believe giving Cunningham the keys early is what we’ll see.

How does Cunningham fit alongside the Pistons’ core (Jerami Grant, Killian Hayes, Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart)?

At Oklahoma State, Cunningham never really played with a real floor-spacer, which congested the lane for him quite often. Having a teammate like Saddiq Bey will really open up the floor in a way that he didn’t see last season. Cunningham and Hayes are both comfortable as creators and facilitators, giving Detroit tremendous flexibility as they continue to fill out their core moving forward.

What is Cunningham’s max ceiling outcome?

If it clicks for Cunningham on all cylinders, we are looking at multiple All-Star appearances. There is a pathway for him to be one of the best point forwards in the entire league for a long, long time. For me, it will come down to his processing speed adjusting to the NBA game, as well as his shooting projection, especially from three-point range. Cunningham’s defense is incredible and isn’t discussed nearly enough, so if the shooting is there and sticks, I believe he’ll become one of the elite two-way players in the NBA.

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