Point Guard Cade Cunningham from Oklahoma State seems like the consensus number one pick. But, what does Cade offer? Let’s look and see if Cade is a legit generational talent.
1.Body and Athleticism– 6’8, 220 lbs, 7 ft wingspan
Cade is much taller and longer than the average point guard and even bigger than a majority of wing players. Cade’s size can make him a good defender and rebounder against other guards. Cade has exceptional footwork, however, he has average athleticism and his size does hurt his speed as he struggled to get past college guards. As a big guard Cade already has an advantage in many areas.
2.Scoring-20.1 PPG 43.8% FG, 40% 3FG
Cade can be a lethal 3-level scorer in this league. He’s great at the rim especially in transition as he shot 57%. He shot very well in transition from 3 at 43% but wasn’t efficient from pull-ups in transition. He is a great spot-up shooter which is definitely an asset that will help him in the NBA. In isolation, Cade is above average but struggled to finish at the rim at times. In the PNR, he was great at shooting off it at 40% and is able to finish at the rim. He’s very tough to guard in the post due to his great footwork, length and height, and post moves. Shooting-wise, he has all the mechanics to be a great shooter. He is very confident and loves step-back shots from 3. However, he struggles moving off the ball and isn’t a threat without the ball. Cade tends to be stagnant at times. Overall, he has great potential as a scorer due to his great shooting mechanics and consistency but he needs to improve off ball to be a true offensive threat.
3.Ball Handling and Passing-3.5 APG and 4.0 TOV
As a ball handler, Cade is creative but he isn’t explosive or super shifty due to lack of athleticism. Despite not being the greatest athlete, he is able to blow by defenders and create for others. He is a great initiator and playmaker for others due to his high basketball IQ. Cade has amazing vision and tends to find the open man. Cade struggled with turnovers in college with a terrible assist to turnover ratio at .89 and he averaged 4 turnovers. Some may say this is due to the fact that Cade was the primary ball-handler at Oklahoma State last year. Cade has the tools to be a floor general but needs to limit his turnovers to be effective.
4.Defense and Rebounding-6.2 TRB, 1.6 STL, 0.8 BLK
Cade is an active and loud defender as he communicated really well in college. Also, he boxes out really well on both sides which allowed him to average 6.2 TRB. Despite not being the greatest athlete, his footwork allowed him to keep up with college guards. However, faster guys tend to blow by him in the PNR. He also gives a lot of attention to the guy with the ball and forgets about the cutter. Cade’s size should make him a good rebounder right away and allow him to grow as a defender.
Luka Doncic: Big playmakers who can also shoot and aren’t the greatest athletes.
Grant Hill: Both great iso scorers and ball handlers, Grant wasn’t as much as a floor general as Cade is since he was a forward.
Tracy McGrady: Bigger guard who is a good passer and elite scorer and is very ball-dominant.
Projection: While Cade could be similar to Luka or even James Harden, he also could be a decent starter such as Lonzo Ball. Cunningham does have many things that a superstar should possess and should be at least an All-Star at least once in his career, if not multiple times. Cunningham could easily be a generational talent and deserves the hype he is getting.
Photo: Sue Ogrocki