Pistons select Cunningham 1st overall in 2021 NBA Draft

Melanie Fidler / National Basketball Association / Getty

The Detroit Pistons have selected Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham with the first pick of the 2021 NBA Draft.

Cunningham had a sensational freshman year with the Cowboys, tallying 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.6 steals per contest. He also shot 40% on nearly six 3-point attempts per game. He was voted a consensus first-team All-American for his efforts and became the first freshman to be named Big 12 Player of the Year since Marcus Smart in 2013.

The native of Texas recorded 24 points on 6-of-20 shooting while adding four rebounds, three assists, and five steals in his final collegiate game when fourth-seeded Oklahoma State fell in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to No. 12 Oregon State.

With the long-armed, 6-foot-8 frame of a forward and a guard's ability to command an offense and create off the dribble, Cunningham projects as a potential NBA star - one who could soon make a big impact on both sides of the ball for the rebuilding Pistons.

Cunningham earns comparisons to fellow point forwards - the Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic, for instance - honestly. Time will tell whether he can acclimatize to the size and speed of the pro game as quickly as the Slovenian superstar has.

Bio

Position: PG/SF
School: Oklahoma State
College experience: Freshman
Height: 6-foot-8
Weight: 220 lbs
Wingspan: N/A
Max vertical: N/A

Strengths

  • Dynamic scoring ability from the triple-threat position; can shoot, drive, and pass with aplomb
  • Exceptional vision as a pick-and-roll ball-handler
  • Measurements should grant versatility to defend multiple positions

Weaknesses

  • Not a jump-out-of-the-gym athlete
  • Didn't have much opportunity to develop off-ball game in college
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Pistons select Cunningham 1st overall in 2021 NBA Draft
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