Dante Cunningham Cleared of All Charges in Domestic Assault Case

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIAugust 18, 2014

In this Oct. 23, 2013, photo, Minnesota Timberwolves' Dante Cunningham pauses during the Timberwolves' preseason NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers in Philadelphia. Police have arrested Cunningham for the second time in three days. Medina, Minn., police Officer Chris McGill says the 26-year-old Cunningham was arrested Sunday, April 6, 2014, on preliminary charges of making terrorist threats. He declined to go into detail about the allegations but said police would release more information about the arrest on Monday. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)
Laurence Kesterson/Associated Press

Updates from Tuesday, Aug. 19

Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press (h/t Yahoo Sports) reports that Dante Cunningham plans on taking legal action against his accuser:

The agent for free-agent forward Dante Cunningham says his client plans to file a civil lawsuit against the woman who accused him of domestic assault.

Agent Joel Bell tells The Associated Press that Cunningham wants to clear his name after authorities dismissed a felony assault charge against Cunningham on Monday. The woman accused Cunningham of choking her in April.

Original Text

An extensive legal process concluded Monday for NBA free-agent forward Dante Cunningham.

According to the Minnesota Timberwolves' official PR Twitter feed, Cunningham has been cleared of all charges in a domestic assault case:

The 2009 second-round pick out of Villanova was charged in April with "one felony count of domestic assault by strangulation," per the Associated Press, via ESPN.com. Cunningham was then arrested for the second time in a three-day span thereafter "on preliminary charges of making terrorist threats," per the AP, via ESPN.com.

Andy Greder of the St. Paul Pioneer Press provided further information on that related incident, and framed it within the context of Monday's news:

Cunningham released a statement through the Timberwolves, the team he played for during the past two seasons, regarding his situation on April 8, via the franchise's official website:

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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.

Now Cunningham can shift his focus more prominently to finding a place to play in the Association. According to 1500ESPN.com's Darren Wolfson, Cunningham would prefer to remain in the Twin Cities:

Cunningham was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers, whose front office traded him to the Charlotte Hornets franchise toward the end of his second year as a pro. After playing with the Memphis Grizzles in 2011-12, he was sent to the Timberwolves in another trade.

Thus, it makes sense that Cunningham would want to stay put in Minnesota.

Not only is he familiar with the team, but also the impending departure of All-Star Kevin Love in a reported trade to the Cleveland Cavaliers, per Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, will also have the Timberwolves mired in a rebuilding period.

A role player like Cunningham would have a better chance to see more minutes and bolster his status in the rotation.

The 27-year-old Cunningham has cracked the starting lineup 41 times in 366 career NBA games. With Love leaving Minnesota, though, the opportunity is open for Cunningham to compete for a spot at the 4 if he returns there.

If he doesn't remain with the Timberwolves, it may be harder for Cunningham to crack a rotation elsewhere due to his limited production and the fact he will be in yet another new situation entering his sixth NBA season.


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