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.