Cade Cunningham Signs Rookie Pistons Contract After Being Drafted No. 1 Overall

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IIIAugust 9, 2021

Detroit Pistons' general manager Troy Weaver, from left, team owner Tom Gores, Cade Cunningham, the first overall selection in the NBA basketball draft, and head coach Dwane Casey pose in Detroit, Friday, July 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham signed his rookie deal with the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, though financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

RealGM previously estimated Cunningham would earn $8.1 million as a rookie, $8.5 million in his sophomore season and $8.9 million in his third option year. His fourth-year team option would be a 26.1 percent increase over his third-year salary.

That may look like a small price to pay if Cunningham is able to live up to his billing. 

While at Oklahoma State, the 6'8", 220-pound star averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 26 starts. He's expected to anchor a Pistons rebuild that began to speed up once the club landed the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft lottery. 

That made Cunningham the team's first No. 1 overall pick since Bob Lanier in 1970. The Texas native arrives in Michigan with a young core featuring Killian Hayes, Saddiq Bey and Jerami Grant ready to develop around him. 

Detroit has made the postseason just twice since 2009. After going 20-52 in 2020-21, expectations in the Motor City will rise rapidly. Now that Cunningham has signed his rookie deal, he can focus strictly on basketball with the Summer League is underway.


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