Everything You Need to Know About Cade Cunningham

It's widely assumed that Oklahoma St guard Cade Cunningham will be the No. 1 pick in July's NBA Draft. Here's what you should know about the stud prospect.

Cade Cunningham OK St Oklahoma Norman 2021

NORMAN, OK - FEBRUARY 27: Oklahoma State Cowboys guard Cade Cunningham (2) passes around Oklahoma Sooners guard Elijah Harkless (24) during the second half on February 27th, 2021 at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman Oklahoma. (Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Cade Cunningham OK St Oklahoma Norman 2021

Now that the NBA Draft Lottery has come and gone, things begin to take shape for both teams and prospects. On July 29th, a draft that seems to be particularly strong through the first 10 picks will give teams a chance to kickstart rebuilds and inject a fresh dose of star power into the league. 

Depending on who you talk to, there are five or six players that stand out, two of whom—Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga—opted out of college basketball and went straight to the NBA’s G League and played for the Ignite. Scouts, analysts, and of course, decision-makers, for teams with a selection in the top 5 will have their work cut out for them. At the top of the draft, though, there may not be much drama. Cade Cunningham, the Oklahoma State point guard, has been talked about as the likely first-overall pick for most of the year, and it’s not hard to see why. With the Pistons picking first and needing help all over the roster while also boasting an impressive collection of young talent, he would seem to be a perfect fit. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the likely, if not set in stone, for the presumed top pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. 

He’s the proto-typical NBA wing, but plays the point

Cade Cunningham OKlahoma St Baylor 2021

At the root of Cunningham’s appeal is the idea that he’s the perfect player for today’s NBA. He’s 6’8”, has a frame capable of putting on real strength, and combines enough ball-handling, shooting, and distribution to be a threat from anywhere on the court offensively. He’ll be able to handle the ball in pick-and-roll situations, he’ll be able to set screens and pop, handle passes on the short roll and distribute or go toward the basket, and he’ll be able to spot up and rebound to get the transition game going. 

The NBA may not be position-less—instead, it simply values the type of player Cunningham is, one capable of fulfilling a number of roles. 

He surprised scouts with his exceptional shooting

Cade Cunningham 3-Pointer Baylor 2021

Questions about his defense are probably overblown

Cade Cunningham Defense Baylor 2021

Cunningham will only work out for the Pistons

Cade Cunningham Pass NCAA Tournament 2021 Liberty

If Cunningham and his team are worried about slipping in the draft, they have a funny way of showing it. Shortly after the lottery results were announced, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski made it clear that Cunningham will only work out for the Pistons. This is a relief for Detroit fans, as it immediately puts to rest the notion that the Texas native may not be elated about the possibility of Michigan winters. If the Pistons did decide to draft USC big man Evan Mobley or Green, though, it would be interesting to see how teams like the Rockets or Cavaliers react given less information on Cunningham. 

Some say he’s not a slam dunk choice at No. 1

Cade Cunningham NCAA Tournament 2 2021

Latest in Sports