Cade Cunningham's Draft Scouting Report: Pro Comparison, Updated Pistons Roster

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 30, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - MARCH 21: Cade Cunningham #2 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys watches a shot as they take on the Oregon State Beavers during the first half in the second round game of the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Hinkle Fieldhouse on March 21, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

One of the crown jewels in the 2021 NBA draft class is now a member of the Detroit Pistons after Oklahoma State star Cade Cunningham came off the board with the No. 1 overall pick. 

Bleacher Report Draft Expert Jonathan Wasserman's Scouting Report

Player: Cade Cunningham

Position: PG/SG


Pro Comparison: Luka Doncic

Scouting ReportCunningham started the season viewed as the draft's top prospect, and then backed up the hype with next-level shot-creation and accurate shooting. He projects as a top option, but Cunningham can also double as a playmaker capable of generating offense from either backcourt position.


The 19-year-old was pegged as a potential top-five pick when he joined the Cowboys for the 2020-21 season. He largely lived up to the hype by averaging 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists while shooting 43.8 percent from the field and 40.0 percent from beyond the arc.

The Arlington, Texas, native has the size (6'8", 220 pounds) and the game to thrive at the next level. He can be the lead playmaker and No. 1 scorer for the Pistons.

Fans in Detroit didn't have much to cheer about this past season, but getting Cunningham makes all of the losing worth it.

Pistons Active Roster and Average Salary (Expiration Year)

Jerami Grant, PF: $20M (2023)

Cory Joseph, PG: $12.4M (2022)

Cade Cunningham, PG: $8.1M (2025)

Killian Hayes, PG: $5.4M (2024)

Rodney McGruder, SG: $5M (2022)

Josh Jackson, SG: $4.9M (2022)

Sekou Doumbouya, SF: $3.4M (2023)

Isaiah Stewart, C: $3.2M (2024)

Saddiq Bey, SG: $2.8M (2024)

Jahlil Okafor, C: $2M (2022)

Deividas Sirvydis, SF: $1.4M (2023) 

Tyler Cook, PF: $1M (2022)


Free Agents

Dennis Smith Jr., PG: RFA

Wayne Ellington, SG: UFA

Hamidou Diallo, SG: RFA

Saben Lee, PG: RFA

Frank Jackson, PG: UFA

He's also exactly the kind of cornerstone the franchise needs to serve as the face of its new era.

The Pistons committed to a painful rebuild when they traded Andre Drummond for pennies on the dollar ahead of the 2020 trade deadline. Then came Blake Griffin's buyout after the organization tabbed Troy Weaver to lead the front office.

Although the Jerami Grant signing has worked out better than expected, Detroit lacked a young star whom you could envision leading a possible title contender down the line. Weaver and head coach Dwane Casey now have that player in Cunningham.


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