Cade Cunningham is one of the most intriguing young players in the NBA currently. He is a smooth guard scoring-wise who is also a fantastic playmaker. There are many people who believe that he could potentially become a future superstar. Currently, Cade Cunningham is averaging 17.2 PPG, 5.7 RPG, and 5.6 APG.
While a lot of players hit the ground running in the NBA, Cade Cunningham had a slow start to his career. Cade Cunningham's 12.5 FG% during his debut was the second-worst in the modern draft era, only behind Anthony Bennett. However, Cade Cunningham has clearly bounced back since then. When speaking to Michael Pina of Sports Illustrated, Cunningham revealed that he didn't expect fans to write him off right at the start of his career.
And yet, a slow start combined with his team being on the wrong side of many a blowout has made Cunningham’s development—which is one of the league’s most meaningful long-term subplots—so easy to miss. A meticulous 6'6" point guard who sees things happen before they actually do, Cunningham was derailed by an ankle injury during the preseason that delayed his NBA debut until Detroit’s fourth game. It was forgettable, a two-point clunker against the Magic that preceded him shooting 6-for-31 over his next two games.
“Coming in, I mean, you daydream, and I’m trying to manifest all these things I’m gonna do in my first game and whatever, and it didn’t play out that way. … I never really got down on myself. I know how good I am, you know what I’m saying?” he says before admitting how strange it was to see such a harsh reaction to his first few games. “I didn't expect people to kind of write me off the way that they did.”
It remains to be seen if Cade Cunningham does in fact reach his potential and become a franchise-changing player. What can't be denied is that he's talented, and he is clearly confident in his abilities, as he mentions that he knows how good he is.
One player doesn't turn a franchise around by themselves. The Detroit Pistons will be getting another top-tier pick this year, and perhaps they'll find another promising young player to pair with Cade Cunningham. We'll see if Cade Cunningham can get the team back to being competitive as time goes on.