Ever since he became the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, Cade Cunningham of the Detroit Pistons has been seen by some as a relative disappointment.
In two pro seasons, he has shot just 41.6 percent from the field and 30.9 percent from 3-point range, and he played in just 12 games this past season because of a stress fracture in his left shin.
But his overall counting stats show some promise, as he has put up a respectable 17.8 points, 5.6 assists, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game so far in the NBA.
Cade Cunningham since being drafted in 2021:
One of seven active players averaging 15/5/5/1. pic.twitter.com/JskrwAhqAC
— StatMuse (@statmuse) July 11, 2023
At 6-foot-6 and 220 pounds, Cunningham was compared by some to LeBron James when he entered the league due to his ability to handle the ball in the open court, dish to open teammates, and score himself.
In his only season of college basketball, he put up 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per contest while shooting 40.0 percent from beyond the arc.
Cunningham has an advantage of sorts, as he plays for a Pistons team that is at the bottom of the food chain and isn’t expected to do anything significant for a while, which means there is little pressure on him to develop fast.
This coming season, he will be joined by rookie Ausar Thompson, the No. 5 pick in June’s draft who seems to have the potential to become an interesting player.
Besides staying healthy, it seems the biggest key for Cunningham will be figuring out a way to be efficient as a scorer, whether he’s finishing in the paint or letting it fly from the outside.NEXT: Stats Show How Impressive Cade Cunningham Has Been Since Being Drafted