Cade Cunningham or Trae Young? Pistons fans weigh in

Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks drives to the basket in front of Cade Cunningham #2 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks drives to the basket in front of Cade Cunningham #2 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Cade Cunningham and the Detroit Pistons won in overtime recently against Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks.

Neither guy shot the ball particularly well, but Cade took over down the stretch and finished the game with 28 points, 10 assists and six rebounds, out-dueling his counterpart in the win.

The Pistons were able to hold Trae Young to 5-of-20 shooting and targeted him as a defender all night.

Young is one of the best scorers in the league, a two-time All-Star who has already taken his team to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Cade is still a rookie, but is already showing signs of future All-Stardom himself, with a strong overall game that impacts both ends of the floor.

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They both have flaws, but the juxtaposition of their games made me curious if Pistons’ fans would take Young’s guaranteed stardom (he’s already there) over Cade’s potential and the results were surprising.

Pistons’ fans are happy with Cade Cunningham

I asked fans to just consider talent and not contracts when making their decision, and while I am not shocked by the results, I am surprised they were this lopsided in favor of Cade Cunningham:

Look, this is a Pistons’ site and most of our readers/followers are Pistons’ fans, so it is not at all shocking that this poll is biased towards Cade. I am sure if I ran this same poll on a Hawks’ page the results would be similar for Trae.

But I am surprised at the overwhelming results, as I thought more fans would take the sure thing over potential, even Cade’s.

I think it shows a couple of things: The first is that Pistons’ fans are in this for the long haul and love Cade’s potential to be a superstar. We’ve been patiently waiting for one and are happy to wait a few more seasons (we may not have to) for it to happen.

I think it also shows that defense matters. Most of the commenters cited Trae’s lack of defense as their main reason for voting for Cade Cunningham and I think that is fair.

Young had to be subbed out defensively against the Pistons, which is not something you want to have to do with your best player. Detroit was targeting him in the pick-and-roll, trying to force Young to defend Cade one-on-one, something we don’t see done defensively with Cade even though he is a rookie.

Young is clearly a better scorer, passer and all-around playmaker than Cade at this point in their respective careers and it’s very possible that Cade is never a guy who scores 27 points a game as Young is this season.

But Cade is a much better rebounder and worlds better as a defender, his playmaking is still very good and he has the basketball IQ to get to Young’s level as a facilitator.

All biases aside, I think a compelling case can be made for Cade Cunningham when you factor in defense and his potential to at least get close to where Trae Young is offensively.

The fact that this is even debatable is a good sign for Cade, as Trae Young is already a star and one of the best guards in the NBA. Let’s hope Cade Cunningham joins him in those ranks soon.

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