Detroit Pistons star Cade Cunningham has been the subject of intense debate this year. Coming into the season, many viewed him as the favorite to claim Rookie of the Year. Unfortunately, early injury woes derailed Cunningham’s campaign for that trophy – allowing other players to emerge as likelier candidates for ROY.
That led to some, including notable Pistons legends, wondering if he was legit.
Cunningham ultimately heard the criticism and responded accordingly. He has been on fire in the second half of the year, culminating in a 34-point and 6-assist showing against the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night.
Despite his team coming up short, Cunningham walked away from the outing with Kevin Durant’s respect.
Afterward, Durant shared his impression of the rookie in very honest terms.
“When you got a 6-7 PG, S–T, it’s a good start….somebody that can wreck a whole defensive game plan….They got length and toughness down the line….I can see this team being a force to be reckoned with in the future.”
— DaveEarly (@DavidEarly) March 30, 2022
“Somebody that can wreck a whole defensive game plan,” Durant said.
“With his size, his talent, his skill, so it’s a great start. And then you go down the line Saddiq Bey and Marvin Bagley, Jerami Grant, and Isaiah Stewart, they got length and toughness down the line. And with a great coaching staff [led by former Coach Of the Year with the Toronto Raptors, Dwane Casey] that’s gonna get the best out their players. I could see this team being something, force to be reckoned with in the future.”
The video speaks for itself. https://t.co/TmaqxJY2Oa
— Game 7 (@game7__) March 29, 2022
The future seems bright for Cunningham. And although the youngster has at times this season expressed frustration with the Pistons as a franchise, he also feels like the perfect person to get them back on track.
Will Cunningham be able to transform Detroit into the basketball mecca it once was?
Time will tell.