The Detroit Pistons hope they have landed the next superstar in the league in Cade Cunningham, who is undoubtedly one of the best young players in the NBA.
Cunningham didn’t win Rookie of the Year, but his all-around numbers put him in rare company among active players, and his stats after the All-Star break point to a big leap coming.
Not everyone agrees, as some analysts have questioned his motor, while others see him as more of a complementary wing player that will need another superstar.
But in a recent HoopsHype poll of 15 executives, Cade was listed as one of the players teams would most like to build around.
Here is the full list in order:
- Luka Doncic
- Jayson Tatum
- Ja Morant
- Evan Mobley
- Anthony Edwards
- Zion Williamson
- Scottie Barnes
- LaMelo Ball
- Trae Young
- Darius Garland
- Cade Cunningham
- Jalen Green
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
- Tyrese Haliburton
Cade Cunningham did jump two spots from when this same poll was done in January, but still wasn’t able to crack the top-10, finishing in 11th place in the most recent poll.
Is this high enough? Would you rather build around Cade than some of the other players on this list?
Detroit Pistons: Would you rather build around Cade Cunningham?
I don’t think you can really argue about the top-3 players on the list, as Doncic, Tatum and Morant were all MVP candidates last season, are still very young and their teams have been winning.
There is no way I would put Evan Mobley that high on this list, even though he did have an outstanding rookie season. He slid into a perfect situation on a better team than many of his rookie counterparts, and while I think he’ll be a multiple time All-Star, it’s hard to imagine him carrying a team offensively.
I would put Cade and Anthony Edwards ahead of Mobley, who isn’t currently even the best player on his own team. I get the the appeal of a two-way big (and like I said, this isn’t a diss to Mobley, he’s amazing) but Cade and ANT play more important positions and are also good on both sides of the ball. I may even put Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes ahead of Mobley.
I’d probably put Cade ahead of Zion Williamson, who doesn’t play defense and has barely played in his short career in the league. I’d need to see him finish a whole season first, and I might even choose his teammate Brandon Ingram as a better player to build around.
I was a little surprised that NBA executives chose LaMelo Ball over Trae Young considering Trae has already carried a mediocre Hawks team to the Eastern Conference Finals, but both players dropped on the list from January.
Darius Garland was an All-Star last season, averaging over 20 points points per game and adding 8.6 assists. But he’s a 6-foot-1 point guard who can only defend one position and I would go out on a limb and say that Cade Cunningham could surpass those stats as soon as next season, while also defending multiple spots.
Two NBA execs had Cade as high as 5th and I think you could talk me into putting him there just behind Anthony Edwards, knocking Mobley down to 6th position. But I am Homer #1, so that is to be expected, but what do you think, will Cade surpass some of the names when this poll is done again after the season?