Will Cade Cunningham be the best Pistons’ rookie of all time?

Cade Cunningham #2 of the Oklahoma State. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Cade Cunningham #2 of the Oklahoma State. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons have the number one pick in the NBA Draft after 51 years of waiting and they will likely use it on point guard Cade Cunningham.

Cunningham is the obvious choice, so now is not the time to get too clever. You can have your hot takes about trades or Jalen Green, but in the end, Cunningham is a unique talent who is a tier above the rest.

He has drawn comparisons to everyone from Luka Doncic to Grant Hill, so the Pistons have a chance to draft a potential superstar here and won’t pass it up.

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Cunningham is a guy who will make an immediate impact for the Pistons on both ends, and he also possesses the intangibles that are necessary for greatness.

This made me wonder if Cunningham could potentially be the greatest Pistons’ rookie of all time. And after breaking down hours of film, I think it’s a distinct possibility.

Detroit Pistons: Cade Cunningham could be an All-Time rookie great

I made a list of the top 10 Pistons’ rookies of All-Time and there are some great players, including guys like Bob Lanier (the last Pistons’ overall number one pick), Dave Bing and the aforementioned Grant Hill, who I think holds the crown as Greatest Pistons’ rookie.

If you look at Hill’s rookie year, Cunningham will have to be pretty spectacular to top it, but I definitely think it is possible.

Hill averaged 19.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5 assists, 1.8 steals and a block per game in his rookie season, earning himself Rookie of the Year honors which he shared with Jason Kidd.

Cunningham has some similarities with Hill, as they have similar size and abilities, though Cade is a much more polished shooter and has better handles than Hill.

Cunningham is going to have the ball in his hands A LOT and will get every chance to put up big numbers as Hill did in his rookie season.

The one thing that could hold him back are the assists, but this will depend largely on what the Pistons do with their roster this offseason, as they need to add more shooters. If they can get a couple of knock-down 3-point shooters then Cunningham is going to rack up assists, as this kid knows how to break down a defense and set up his teammates.

Like Hill, he can score from the mid-range or post, but Cunningham also shoots 40 percent from long range, which was never really a part of Grant Hill’s game.

It’s not going to be easy to take Hill’s title of Greatest Pistons Rookie but Cade Cunningham has all of the attributes to do it and also possesses a killer instinct that will lead to a lot of big shots.

If I have to make a prediction it will be that Cunningham will equal or beat those numbers, win Rookie of the Year outright and be known as the Pistons’ greatest rookie.

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