Weight: 220 pounds (100kg)
College: Oklahoma State
| 20.1 PTS | 3.5 AST | 6.2 TRB | 1.6 STL | 0.8 BLK | 4.0 TOV | 43.8% FG | 40.0% 3PT | 84.6% FT |
Cade Cunningham is a big, strong point guard with incredible talent on offence. His greatest skill by far is his passing. Despite a negative assist to turnover ratio, it is undeniable that with a more talented supporting cast around him, his assist numbers would skyrocket. Cunningham has an uncanny ability to set the floor and patiently make the correct basketball play almost every trip down the floor. In addition to his insane playmaking skills, Cunningham is a surprisingly deadly shooter of the basketball, recording 40% from beyond the arc in college. He can also easily get to the basket and either finish at the rim or draw a foul using his impressive size and athleticism. One thing that Cunningham lacks is explosiveness, meaning he can’t just easily burst past a defender. He needs time and space to get a good look. This makes him a great player in a pick and roll situation as it gives him space to manoeuvre and get to the spot he wants. Ultimately, there is not much on the offensive end that Cunningham struggles to excel at and could be the most offensively talented prospect in this draft.
Cunningham is a threat on offence, but he is just as dangerous on the defensive end of the floor. He is a versatile defender who can fit perfectly into a switching defence with the ability to guard the 1 through 3. You can see that he always knows where to be on court and is never caught ball-watching which can be a problem with young prospects. Cunningham is a great off-ball defender, hassling and staying with his matchup at all times. He is a strong rebounder for his position and shows a hunger for the ball. He has good instincts and has a knack for getting into opponents passing lanes for steals and could easily fit into an NBA defence without wavering. The only weakness for him at this stage is again with his explosiveness and footwork which can at times allow opponents to get the first step on him, but this is something that can be improved with time.
Rolled Ankle in NCAA Tournament but no significant damage. (March 2021)
Luka Doncic, Grant Hill, Shaun Livingston, Ben Simmons.
Cade Cunningham is widely seen as the no brainer number one pick in the 2021 NBA Draft but with a significant amount of incredible talent in this draft, there are teams that could pass on him at number one. There is no way he falls below number five in this draft however as Cunningham is just far too talented to be left by that many teams. Several teams in the NBA at this moment are looking for a solid point guard to lead their team, especially those in the lottery, and that will only help his case to go at number one.
Likely Team Fit
Cunningham has the talent to easily fit into any team in the NBA. Obviously, he will end up on a struggling team and therefore will look to be starting in his rookie season. Some ideal teams for him to fit these criteria at this stage in the season are the Detroit Pistons, Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets.
Cade Cunningham is the consensus number one overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft and it’s easy to see why with his talents. He has carried a lacking Oklahoma State team to the NCAA Tournaments and has produced highlight after highlight all season. He is seen as a man of good character who you want to have on your team. He clearly wants his teammates to succeed and is always looking to set others up on the offensive end. When he’s not making plays for his team, he can easily get his own shot, provided he has some space to work with and when he is left open, can knock down his shots. He is a perfect fit for today’s positionless basketball, willing and able to switch and guard the one through three and is an incredible help defender, always finding himself in the correct spot on the court. He has some room to improve as far as his athleticism and explosiveness in concerned but there is no reason why Cunningham can’t be a franchise player with his potential and projects to make an immediate impact in the NBA next season.