With the Detroit Pistons winning 50 games and making it to the NBA playoffs, they are poised for a bright future. Cade Cunningham’s rookie season was one of their most productive seasons in recent memory, but what three things should we keep an eye out for this offseason?

The “is cade cunningham playing tonight” is a question that many people ask when they are looking for the latest Pistons news. Cade Cunningham had 3 big takeaways from his rookie season with the Pistons.

3 Biggest Takeaways From Cade Cunningham's Standout Rookie Season With the Pistons

Cade Cunningham has rapidly established himself as the face of the Detroit Pistons’ resurgence. Cunningham, who was selected first overall in the 2021 NBA Draft, started all 64 games for the Pistons this season, averaging 32.6 minutes per game. 

Cunningham averaged 17.4 points, 5.6 assists, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game while shooting 41.6/31.4/84.5 percent in those games. Cunningham’s accomplishments earned him a spot as a finalist for the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in 2021-22.

Cunningham’s debut season yielded three key takeaways.

Cade Cunningham might be the Detroit Pistons’ franchise floor general.

Cade Cunningham #2 of the Detroit Pistons playing against the Milwaukee Bucks

Cade Cunningham #2 of the Detroit Pistons playing against the Milwaukee Bucks Detroit Pistons’ Cade Cunningham #2 | Nic Antaya/Getty Images

Despite the fact that the Detroit Pistons had another bad season (going 23-59, enough for 14th place in the Eastern Conference), Cade Cunningham had a promising rookie season and was one of the few bright spots for them. For the most of the regular season, he was the driving force behind head coach Dwane Casey’s attack, while Jerami Grant was out due to various injuries. Many of the great traits he demonstrated during his lone season at Oklahoma State were on display again.

Cunningham was able to move inside and score off the dribble while also initiating a fastbreak off the boards, assisting his teammates and having a positive influence on both sides of the court. His game has a lot of potential. Cunningham, for instance, took his lumps as a vital source of offense for one of the NBA’s youngest and weakest teams. 

He was typically the focus of defensive attention and has potential to improve in terms of efficiency. Cunningham is a consistent free throw shooter who hit 40.0 percent from beyond the arc in college, so this will certainly improve.

Given his height of 6′ 6″, Cunningham can get his shot up over lesser guards or go past a forward assigned to him. With his well-rounded offensive approach, he may divert focus away from others. Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart, for example, get open looks as a result of this.

For the Detroit Pistons, Cunningham needs to be more forceful.

Cade Cunningham’s debut season included a few moments that left much to be desired. One of them was inefficiency, but the overarching problem was a lack of assertiveness. Cunningham has only appeared in 64 NBA games. Expecting him to be a force to be reckoned with right away was unrealistic. The Detroit Pistons, on the other hand, need a more forceful version of Cunningham in the future.

Cunningham has to press the issue at the rim more regularly if he wants to be an exceptional scorer and the heart and soul of the Pistons’ offense; he has the build and skill to do it. Now, he did play with some intensity, attacking the rim and finding his teammates in the paint for easy goals. Cunningham, on the other hand, only shot 2.6 free throws a game and, due to his length, liked to shoot sudden mid-range jump shots. 

Cunningham, as previously said, is a decent free throw shooter. If he makes it a habit to push the issue, he’ll go to the free throw line and score easy points for a Pistons club that suffers on offense as a whole. Cunningham’s NBA strength will be flinging himself to the rim, which will open up the rest of his game.

Cunningham’s defenders will be expecting him to attempt to go past them, causing some space between the two. In transition, he’ll also get his fair share of clean looks from the perimeter.

Cade Cunningham is a solid bet to improve on his Pistons rookie season.

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Cade Cunningham is a sure bet to improve in his second NBA season. Why? Cunningham has played basketball at three different levels in the previous three years: high school, college, and the NBA. 

Cunningham was set to be a one-and-done at Oklahoma State when he graduated from high school. This time, he has the time and opportunity to take his achievement to a new level. At the NBA level, any prospect who has just played one season of college basketball will go through a natural acclimatization process.

Furthermore, the Detroit Pistons’ roster was highly inexperienced last season, with 13 players aged 25 or younger playing in games. The Pistons are expected to be more competitive next season. They’ll almost certainly have a top-five choice, and young players like Bey, Stewart, and Killian Hayes have a lot of potential.

Cunningham will be under less pressure to bear the weight this summer, thanks to the addition of a blue-chip prospect, internal development, and the Pistons possessing at least $20 million in salary space. That helps him become a step closer to prominence, and it doesn’t even take into account any personal progress he could have. 

Cunningham has a unique skill set given his stature, as well as the intangibles required to be a franchise player.

Basketball-Reference provided all stats. Spotrac provided the contract numbers.

Cade Cunningham Takes a Shot at Rookie of the Year by Going Toe-to-Toe With Kevin Durant

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