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#pounditMonday, August 15, 2022

Articles tagged: Cade Cunningham

Deandre Ayton hoping to team up with 1 specific player?

Deandre Ayton looks ahead

Jan 3, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) against the New York Knicks at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Deandre Ayton will soon become a restricted free agent, and many expect the former first overall pick to leave the Phoenix Suns. If he does, he may have one player in mind that he wants to team with.

NBA reporter Marc Stein wrote in his latest column that Ayton would “embrace” forming a new duo with Detroit Pistons star Cade Cunningham. The Pistons are one of the teams that are expected to make a push to sign Ayton.

Cunningham was the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s NBA Draft. The point guard averaged 17.4 points, 5.6 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game as a rookie. He was the best player on a Detroit team that won just 23 games.

In order for Ayton to leave Phoenix, the Suns would have to either choose to match an offer sheet the center received or negotiate a sign-and-trade with him. There may be one other team that has more to offer the Suns if the latter scenario plays out.

Cade Cunningham shares key lesson he learned in rookie season

Cade Cunningham in his Pistons uniform

Dec 2, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2) against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Cade Cunningham had what was, by all accounts, a very solid rookie campaign with the Detroit Pistons. That did not win him a lot of plaudits, however, partly because of the lack of success the team had.

Cunningham revealed that was part of his biggest learning experience as an NBA rookie in a new interview. The former Oklahoma State star admitted that one key realization for him was that his personal accomplishments would not earn him a great deal of respect until the team he plays on is successful.

“I think the biggest thing I learned is that the League, the media, nobody will care until you’re winning,” Cunningham told Deyscha Smith of SLAM. “I could feel bad for myself all I want about [how] people didn’t respect or appreciate the season I had, or anything, but I didn’t win a lot of games. So, I think that’s been the biggest thing that I’ve locked in on and I decided within. I have to win games if I want people to respect my name, and if not, then I can’t be mad at people not watching enough games and how I really play.”

The Rookie of the Year vote could be a point toward Cunningham’s realization. He finished a distant third behind Scottie Barnes and Evan Mobley, both of whom played on playoff teams. Cunningham’s Pistons, in contrast, went 23-59 and finished with the third-worst record in the NBA.

The losing is not something Cunningham is used to, and he clearly wants to change it going forward. This is still a valuable lesson for him to pick up so early, and it probably bodes well for his future if he’s able to be this mature over any perceived lack of respect.

Cade Cunningham sounds very frustrated about Pistons’ season

Cade Cunningham in his Pistons uniform

Cade Cunningham has already lost five times as many games this year with the Detroit Pistons as he did in all of last year with Oklahoma State. Now the rookie star is letting off a bit of steam.

Speaking with reporters before Friday’s Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-Star Weekend, Cunningham voiced his frustrations with the Pistons’ season.

“It’s been a tough experience so far,” said Cunningham. “Losing this many games, a lot of us haven’t lost this many games before in our life. So that’s definitely been tough.”

The 20-year-old Cunningham did speak highly of the team’s growth though and added that he has learned a lot from their experiences this season.

Cunningham, the No. 1 overall pick in the draft last year, is doing his part with 15.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per contest. But even with a quality victory over the Boston Celtics on Thursday, the Pistons are still a rotten 13-45 with losses in 12 of their last 14 games.

Obviously, nobody likes to lose, especially top talents like Cunningham who were used to destroying the competition at the amateur level. But it has been a frustrating year for Cunningham for several different reasons, and it does not look like it will get much better in the second half of the season either.

Photo: Dec 2, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2) against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Video: Cade Cunningham ejected for ridiculous reason

Cade Cunningham points at the bench

Detroit Pistons point guard Cade Cunningham had a big game on Sunday, but his day ended prematurely for a pretty absurd reason.

Cunningham had 21 points before he was ejected late in the third quarter of his team’s 135-108 loss to the Phoenix Suns. The ejection came after he picked up two technical fouls. The second was assessed after he appeared to point at his own team’s bench area following an impressive play.

The officials obviously thought Cunningham was taunting an opponent, but he clearly wasn’t. He looked genuinely puzzled about the call, and you can understand why.

Cunningham has somewhat of a history of taunting opponents, but that whistle seemed unnecessary.

Pistons legend critical of Cade Cunningham

Cade Cunningham in his Pistons uniform

One Detroit Pistons legend is not too impressed by what he has seen thus far from Cade Cunningham.

During Detroit’s game against the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, retired Pistons great Dave Bing appeared on the local broadcast and spoke critically of the team’s No. 1 overall pick Cunningham.

“I think he’s going to be an All-Star caliber player. I don’t think he’s a guy that you build your team around,” said Bing. “We still gotta get that guy. We don’t have it yet, in my opinion. I also think our weakness is the backcourt. We gotta get a good point guard.”

Bing did add though that he thinks the rookie Cunningham has begun to come into his own and has been playing “very, very well” lately.

Pistons fans might not like these comments from Bing, a seven-time All-Star with Detroit who was chosen as one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players of All-Time. The Pistons made Cunningham the top overall pick, so they are clearly looking to build their team around him. Bing’s remark about not needing a point guard is a bit odd as well since that is the position that Cunningham plays. Perhaps Bing sees him as more of a 2 guard.

There has been good with the 20-year-old Cunningham this season (15.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game), and there has been bad (38/31/85 shooting splits and 3.7 turnovers per game). While there was slight controversy recently over Cunningham’s development, he is still very much a work in progress. It is probably too early to tell if he is a legitimate franchise centerpiece, though that will obviously be the goal for the Pistons.

Photo: Dec 2, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2) against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Cade Cunningham responds to Jalen Green’s trash talk

Jalen Green taunting Cade Cunningham

Jalen Green is getting hit with a dose of Cade Shade after his fiery display on Wednesday.

Green’s Houston Rockets played Cade Cunningham and the Detroit Pistons in a nationally-televised game on ESPN. In the third quarter, Green blew past Cunningham for a dunk and yelled emphatically at his rookie counterpart (video here).

Cunningham got the last laugh though as the Pistons came away with the 112-104 victory on the road. After the game, Cunningham addressed the trash talk from Green.

“Nothing that I heard tonight held any real weight to me,” Cunningham said, per Johnny Kane of Bally Sports. “It was all for the cameras.”

There is definitely a rivalry brewing between these two rookies. The Pistons selected Cunningham No. 1 overall in this year’s draft over Green, who went with the very next pick to Houston. Green has been vocal about how he felt slighted by the snub. As such, that seems to have made Cunningham his perceived nemesis as well.

The Pistons and the Rockets are scheduled to face each other again on Dec. 18 in Detroit. That game will not be nationally televised, so we will see if the two players keep the same energy.

Video: Jalen Green taunts Cade Cunningham after huge dunk

Jalen Green taunting Cade Cunningham

Wednesday night’s game was a meaningful one for Houston Rockets rookie Jalen Green, and it certainly showed on the court.

Green, the second overall pick in June’s NBA Draft, faced off against the Detroit Pistons for the first time. The Pistons were the only team that passed on Green, selecting Cade Cunningham instead. Green made clear that he viewed that as a snub and would come after the Pistons every time they play.

Green got his chance Wednesday, and at least once, he took advantage. Finding Cunningham guarding him, Green drove to the basket and threw down a huge dunk. He turned and yelled something at Cunningham afterward for good measure, which got him a technical foul.

This may seem excessive, but Green took it very personally when Detroit passed on him in favor of Cunningham. He definitely had this game circled on his calendar.

Pistons trying to tweak Cade Cunningham’s jumper?

Cade Cunningham

Tinkering with his jumper before his rookie season did former No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz no favors. The Detroit Pistons are hoping for more success with their No. 1 overall pick however.

Pistons head coach Dwane Casey told reporters on Friday that adviser John Beilein has been working with rookie Cade Cunningham on getting a higher release on his three-point shot, per Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Casey added that the issue is not a big one and that the team does not want to break down Cunningham’s shot mechanics this close to the season.

The decision is a curious one as the 19-year-old Cunningham was already an excellent shooter in college (40.0 percent from three and 84.6 percent from the line). Cunningham is also 6-foot-7, which means that he should be able to get off his jumper over opposing point guards as is.

As Casey hinted at, tinkering with a young player’s shooting mechanics can be playing with fire as we infamously saw in the case of Fultz. Pistons fans will be hoping that the team is not trying to do anything drastic with Cunningham’s jumper.

Cade Cunningham will receive signing bonus in Bitcoin

Cade Cunningham

Cade Cunningham is the latest professional athlete to get some skin in the cryptocurrency game.

Joe Pompliano of Huddle Up reported on Thursday that the Detroit Pistons rookie has agreed to an exclusive, multi-year endorsement deal with crypto company BlockFi. As part of his deal, Cunningham will receive 100 percent of his signing bonus in Bitcoin.

The 19-year-old Cunningham was the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft. He will make $45.6 million over the next four years as part of his rookie contract with the Pistons, which is separate from his signing bonus.

Cryptocurrency continues to gain in popularity among professional athletes. We already saw another young star in a different sport make a similar move.

Cade Cunningham explains why he thinks LeBron is the ‘GOAT’ over Jordan

Cade Cunningham

This year’s No. 1 overall pick is showing love to another former No. 1 overall pick in the greatest of all-time conversation.

Appearing this week on “Da Windy City with Marc Carman,” Detroit Pistons rookie Cade Cunningham said that he believes LeBron James is the “GOAT” over Michael Jordan. Cunningham explained that James is the best player that he has ever personally seen play.

“It’s hard for me to put somebody ahead of LeBron cause LeBron is the best player I’ve seen with my eyes,” said Cunningham. “Trust me I’ve seen all the Michael Jordan stuff, dude is different. I can’t argue with the fact that you think he is the ‘GOAT.’ But in my eyes I say LeBron.”

Keep in mind that Cunningham is still a teenager, having been born in late 2001. That means that Jordan was long retired before he was old enough to follow basketball, leaving Cunningham to rely on YouTube highlights and films like “The Last Dance.”

In any case, James and Jordan are widely seen as neck-and-neck in the “GOAT” conversation with James improving his standing by winning his fourth career championship last year. Still, many of those who are old enough to have faced both players seem to have a different opinion.

H/T Lakers Daily