Cade Cunningham snubbed on top 25 under 25 list

Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

Cade Cunningham hasn’t gotten a ton of attention this season for the Detroit Pistons even though he was the number one pick in the draft.

This is largely because he had a slow start to the season after injuring his ankle and because he plays on the worst team in the NBA. Well, technically they are second-worst right now, but after last night’s embarrassing drubbing by Memphis, I feel comfortable saying they are the worst.

Winning matters, so when publications put together lists of their best young players, they have to weigh individual skill vs. team success and the Detroit Pistons haven’t had much of the latter even though Cade is in the top-5 of nearly every category for rookies.

Related Story. Will Miles Bridges be the next Jerami Grant for the Pistons?. light

HoopsHype recently released their annual Top 25 Player Under 25 list, which always draws criticism from fans who think their guy was overlooked.

This year the biggest snub was Cade Cunningham, who didn’t make the list even though he is averaging 15.4 points, 6 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.4 steals per game on shooting numbers that have steadily climbed since his slow start.

I am Homer #1 for the Pistons, so am always going to go to bat for our guys, but barring my extreme bias, I do think Cade Cunningham should have been on this list ahead of several guys who made the cut.

Cade Cunningham should have been on the Top 25 under 25 list

It’s hard to argue about any of the guys at the top, as all of them are not only great players but have been on winning teams (except for Zion Williamson) and most of them have already been in the playoffs.

Cade Cunningham is a rookie on a bad team, so it’s hard to make the argument that he has made the Pistons better, as they are even worse than last season unlike the Cavaliers and Raptors, whose rookies (Evan Mobley and Scottie Barnes) both made the list. The Cavs and Raptors clearly had more talent than the Pistons even before adding their rookies, so it’s not really fair to compare team success, as they were put in much better positions.

I don’t actually have a problem with Mobley and Barnes, though to rank them 15th and 20th, then leave Cade off completely seems like a huge mistake, especially when you see the bottom part of the list.

Here are the five guys who should not have been on the list ahead of Cade Cunningham (in my opinion of course):

  • Jaren Jackson Jr.– a versatile big man whose numbers are worse than Cade’s, but the Grizzlies are rolling so I get it
  • Tyler Herro– If you put Cade Cunningham on the Heat, he could do what Herro does. Herro also plays terrible defense while Cade is 2nd amongst rookies in steals and 6th in blocks
  • Jordan Poole– Great breakout season for him on the best team in the league. If Cade’s only job was to score, he could do what Poole is doing
  • Desmond Bane– One trick pony on a good team. Again, doesn’t have nearly the responsibility that Cade Cunningham does and he’s surrounded by talent, which Cade isn’t.
  • Tyrese Maxey– Again, putting up numbers when you have an MVP candidate drawing all of the defense is much easier than when the entire game plan is to stop you.

I can understand why Cade Cunningham was left off this list, as the writer clearly used team success as part of the measure, which I can’t argue with, but there isn’t a GM in the league who wouldn’t take Cade over these five guys. I would also add Lonzo Ball, who was WAY too high.

The Detroit Pistons’ lack of team success will ultimately prevent Cade Cunningham from taking home many awards, and the fact that no one outside of Detroit ever sees him play doesn’t help.

We’re used to our guys, team and city being overlooked, but there is only one way to change that, and that’s to win.

dark. Next. Pistons could have eyes on Cam Reddish in Jerami Grant trade