Updates from Tuesday, April 8
“The charges and accusations in my personal life have unintentionally placed my teammates and the organization in a challenging position. I cannot comment on the charges, as we require that the facts play out through the legal process. Thank you for your understanding.”
Updates from Monday, April 7
Andy Greder of the Pioneer Press provides a statement from Medina police discussing Dante Cunningham's arrest:
#Twolves Dante Cunningham sent messages to girlfriend after release that were "direct and rose to a threatening level," Medina police said.— Andy Greder (@twolvesnow) April 7, 2014
Medina police received call on a violation of order for protection at 3 a.m. Sunday. #Twovles Dante Cunningham turned himself in 11:45 a.m.— Andy Greder (@twolvesnow) April 7, 2014
Greder had more on the proceedings against Cunningham:
#Twolves Dante Cunningham to be held in jail under $150,000 bond pending prob cause charges of terroristic threats. Defense wanted release.— Andy Greder (@twolvesnow) April 7, 2014
#Twolves Dante Cunningham defense believes it has strong tech evidence to refute the terroristic threats charge.— Andy Greder (@twolvesnow) April 7, 2014
Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune later reported Cunningham had been released from custody:
Dante Cunningham posted bail late this afternoon/early this evening and has been released from custody.— Jerry Zgoda (@JerryZgoda) April 7, 2014
Updates from Sunday, April 6
Dante Cunningham is in trouble with the law yet again, according to Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune:
Dante Cunningham in custody again today, by Medina police for making terroristic threats. We're working on story for online— Jerry Zgoda (@JerryZgoda) April 6, 2014
Updates from Saturday, April 5
Andy Greder of the Pioneer Press provides an update on Dante Cunningham:
#Twolves Dante Cunningham has posted bail, flew to Orlando and is available off the bench tonight. Move allowed by CBA. Coach's decision ...— Andy Greder (@twolvesnow) April 5, 2014
Star Tribune reporter Jerry Zgoda also announces that Cunningham will play:
Adelman says Dante will play tonight vs Magic— Jerry Zgoda (@JerryZgoda) April 5, 2014
Updates from Friday, April 4
Andy Greder of the Pioneer Press has an update on Cunningham:
#Twolves forward Dante Cunningham has been charged with felony domestic assault, according to the Hennepin County attorney's office.— Andy Greder (@twolvesnow) April 4, 2014
#Twolves Dante Cunningham remains in custody on possible domestic assault charges, bail set at $40,000 and court date set for Monday.— Andy Greder (@twolvesnow) April 4, 2014
Andy Greder of the Pioneer Press originally reported Cunningham's arrest, noting that records show he is only being held on probable cause charges—meaning police have established reasonable doubt holding him:
#Twolves Dante Cunningham is in Hennepin County jail on probable cause charges relating to a domestic assault in Medina, jail records show.— Andy Greder (@twolvesnow) April 3, 2014
Police records show authorities were called to Cunningham's home in Wayzata, Minn., where he allegedly struck an unknown woman, per Mike Durkin of Fox 9. The woman did not suffer serious injuries and was not in need of medical attention when police arrived. Cunningham, who was not at the scene initially, did not resist arrest when confronted by officers.
Fox 9 News provided Cunningham's mugshot:
In his fifth year out of Villanova, Cunningham has been a constant off Minnesota's bench each of the last two seasons. He's averaging 6.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in just under 20 minutes per game. He and Ricky Rubio are the only players on the roster who have played in all 74 games for the Timberwolves, who sit at 37-37 heading into their game in Miami on Friday.
Following news of Cunningham's arrest, the team issued a statement indicating he would not travel with the team to Miami:
We are aware of the matter involving Dante Cunningham and are in the process of gathering more information. Dante will not be traveling with the team to Miami this afternoon. The Minnesota Timberwolves organization takes the matter very seriously and does not condone the type of behavior that is associated with this situation. However, we need to let the legal process run its course, and will have further comment at the appropriate time.
Minnesota then plays on the second night of a back-to-back Saturday in Orlando, a game Cunningham will very likely miss. The NBA's collective bargaining agreement prevents teams from punishing players for legal matters until they run due course, so formal punishment probably isn't in the cards at this time.
Cunningham could rejoin the team when it returns home to face the Spurs on April 8. It's also possible he and the team decide collaboratively that he stay away until the matter is solved. With only eight games remaining in the season, it wouldn't be a shock to see that happen.
If formally charged, Minnesota law files domestic abuse offenses mostly under misdemeanors, depending on the nature of the case. He has no known prior convictions on domestic abuse, so he would ostensibly face the least severe charges.
These allegations may severely affect Cunningham's future. The three-year, $6.27 million contract he signed with Memphis in 2011 expires after this season. A replacement-level big for most of his career, Cunningham may struggle to find suitors if teams feel off-the-court trouble is going to follow him.
Those implications are likely secondary to what he's facing right now, but they're nonetheless looming.