The Detroit Pistons have made several additions this summer, but none of them will be as impactful as the return of Cade Cunningham.
Cunningham played just 12 games last season, and since having surgery on his shin, he’s been preparing for his return, looking to have a huge breakout season in year three. We know Cade has been dying to get back to action, and got a great opportunity to do so as a member of the Select Team that will scrimmage and practice with Team USA leading up to the FIBA World Cup.
Workout videos have been surfacing in which it appears that Cade Cunningham has put on muscle, and all signs point towards him having a big comeback, which is one of the reasons he’s one of the frontrunners for Most Improved Player already.
Yesterday we got our first look at live action, as the Select Team dominated Team USA in two scrimmages behind Cunningham, who was the standout of the games and showed how his added strength is going to help him.
Pistons news: A stronger Cade Cunningham impresses vs. Team USA
There were some fans and reporters in attendance in Nevada and they mostly walked away with the same impression, which is that Cade Cunningham was the standout performer.
Cade’s team won both games and he looked unstoppable, getting to wherever he wanted on the floor, scoring from all three levels and setting up teammate Jalen Duren for lobs.
Here you’ll see Cade setting up Duren a few times, getting all the way to the rim for a score, and nailing a mid-range jumper out of the pick and roll.
What really stood out was Cade’s extra strength, as he not only looked bigger, but was able to hold off some of the world’s best defenders while keeping possession of the ball, something that was a problem in his rookie season and led to a lot of turnovers.
In this clip, you’ll see Cade use his strength to keep Mikal Bridges at bay as he goes coast to coast to set up Duren for a dunk. Hopefully the added muscle will help him finish more of those bunnies at the rim that he missed early in his career. It should also help him to absorb the contact over the course of the season and allow him to defend bigger players.
These are only scrimmages of course, but Cade reportedly looked like the best player on the floor, which should have Pistons fans even more excited about his return.
A bigger, stronger Cade Cunningham is going to be a problem for the league and he’s ready to remind people why he was the number one overall pick.