Detroit Pistons #DraftDreams: Jared Cunningham

Info

  • Measurables: 6-foot-4, 194 pounds, junior G from Oregon State
  • Key Stats: 17.7 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists. 2.5 steals per game, 45 percent from the field, 34 percent from three
  • Projected: Late first/early second round
  • Hickory High Similarity Score

Why I’m intrigued by this guy

What can I say, like Joe Dumars, I’m a sucker for combo guards. Cunningham is athletic, fast and dabbled at the point guard spot despite being primarily a shooting guard in college.

Pros for the Pistons

The reason I like Cunningham is mainly for his defensive potential. He averaged 2.5 steals per game — Dan Feldman’s favorite stat! — and has the length and quickness to be a disruptive force in passing lanes off the ball. He has a lot of the same attributes as Jeremy Lamb, Lamb is just projected to go in the lottery while Cunningham could be on the board when the Pistons pick early in the second round.

Cons for the Pistons

It’s probably not a great strategy for the Pistons to continue filling their guard spots with players who are kinda point guards sometimes but not really and kinda wings but a bit too small to guard the biggest players at that position. Also, if the Pistons were to look at a guard in this draft, I would hope it would be one who can stretch the floor by being a knock-down 3-point shooter. Cunningham can hit the three, but he’s streaky and his strength is attacking the basket, which sounds a lot like how Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Knight both like to play. Cunningham is too talented to not consider if he’s still there in the second round, but his path to finding minutes and a role early one might be a difficult one considering the makeup of the roster.

What others are saying

Chad Ford:

Cunningham was one of the high risers out of the NBA combine. The question is: Where does he go? Everyone likes him, but after the Hawks are off the board at No. 23, there isn’t a team left in the first round with a big need at the point. That could change with trades, but a pulled hamstring has also forced him to sit the week out. That can’t help either.

DraftExpress:

Defensively, Cunningham has real virtues, as evidenced by the fact that he was named to the Pac-12 all-defensive first team, despite playing on the conference’s fourth worst defense.

On one hand, he has quick feet and excellent anticipation skills, helping him rank in the top-10 amongst all prospects in steals this season, and #1 last season.

His average size and frame might make it difficult at times to keep up with some of the bigger and more physical shooting guards he’ll encounter in the NBA, but his peskiness and ability to put excellent pressure on the ball will surely work in his favor on this end of the floor.

Previously