Cade Cunningham makes history and joins elite group

Feb 27, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2) brings the ball up
Feb 27, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2) brings the ball up / Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Cade Cunningham has taken plenty of heat since being selected by the Detroit Pistons with the #1 pick.

After coming in third in the Rookie of the Year voting, some questioned if the Pistons had made the wrong decision. Spoiler alert: They didn't.

After missing all but 12 games last year, some started calling him a bust, a term that has lost all meaning when you apply it to a player barely able to legally buy a beer.

This season, he's been blamed for the Pistons' lack of wins, and not being "that" guy, a criticism that only got louder when Detroit won a few games when he was out.

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It's true, the Pistons haven't won much since Cunningham was drafted, but the last time I checked, basketball was a team sport and Cade wasn't the one who put together the roster.

What's also true is that Cunningham has been putting up all-around offensive numbers that place him in elite company in NBA history.

Cade Cunningham joins an elite group of All-NBA talent

Last night, Cade Cunningham went over 2,500 points and 800 assists for his career, the 6th-fastest in NBA history to do so:

First off, let's give some props to The Big O, Oscar Roberton, who achieved this feat in just 83 games, by far the fastest to do so. Yes, he played in an offensive era with little defense, but it's still very impressive, especially when you consider everyone else on the list played in the modern 3-point era, which is also painfully bereft of defense. The league didn't even have a 3-point shot during Robertson's career.

Cade joins LeBron James, Trae Young, Luka Doncic and Allen Iverson along with Roberton, a group that contains only Hall-of-Famers or guys who will be there in the future.

And the best is yet to come, as Cade has been lights out since the All-Star break, leading the league in 3-point percentage among players with the requisite attempts.

He has to improve defensively before he leaps into superstardom, but he's already displayed the offensive and leadership ability to be "that" guy, the one they are building around and the player who will eventually start racking up some wins.

Now the Detroit Pistons need to get him more help, starting this offseason, when an impact two-way forward, veteran defensive center and backup point guard should be the top items on their list of targets.