Detroit Pistons: Cade Cunningham’s Most Improved Player odds

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

The 2022-23 season ended for the Detroit Pistons just 23 minutes and 58 seconds into the 12th game when Cade Cunningham left with an apparent injury.

What initially looked like a minor stress injury that would just require rest, quickly turned into shin surgery that would cost Cunningham the rest of his season.

Without their best player and lynchpin of both the offense and defense, the Pistons resorted to tanking and ended with just 17 wins, one of the worst seasons in team history.

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Fans may not be happy about the Pistons’ offseason additions so far, but the biggest one was already on the team, as Cade Cunningham’s return is going to mean more to Detroit than any of the overpaid role players they could have acquired in free agency.

Cunningham has a chance to make a huge return, remind people why he was the #1 pick and take home some hardware in the process.

Detroit Pistons: Cade Cunningham’s Most Improved Player odds

The Most Improved Player award is really not appropriately named if it is given to a player returning from a serious injury, especially when that player was already very good.

If you take away the final game he played this past season, Cunningham was averaging 21.3 points, 6.6 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game. Those are All-Star numbers and if Cunningham improves significantly on those, Pistons’ fans are going to be dancing in the streets.

Comeback Player of the Year would probably be more appropriate, but nomenclature aside, Cunningham is one of the frontrunners for the MIP award. According to Fanduel, here are the top-five guys by the odds:

  • Mikal Bridges +650
  • Cade Cunningham +1300
  • Tyrese Maxey +1400
  • Jordan Poole +1500
  • Anfernee Simons +1600

While Cade is favored because he is returning from injury to a featured role, the rest of the players are on this list because they will get increased opportunities after joining new teams or having key guys leave the one they are on.

Bridges will be the centerpiece of the Nets moving forward after being traded from the Suns, and Maxey should get more opportunity if James Harden is traded from Philly. Poole is going to be the offensive star of the Wizards and Simons figures to get more chances if and when Portland trades Damian Lillard.

Cade Cunningham has a very good shot at this award if he can play a full season with the type of numbers he was putting up before he got injured.

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