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Cade Cunningham announces he’ll stay at Oklahoma State, even without a postseason

The possible #1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft tells Shams Charania he’s going to play in Stillwater next season, though he’ll be unable to play for a championship

Cade Cunningham of Montverde Academy in action against Sanford School during the City of Palms Classic Day 2 at Suncoast Credit Union Arena on December 19, 2019 in Fort Myers, Florida. Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

“Stillwater, let’s work.”

And with those words in a video posted on his personal Twitter account today, potential #1 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft Cade Cunningham sent out a signal that he’ll be playing for the Cowboys this fall despite the program being banned from postseason by the NCAA two weeks ago.

No one would have blamed Cunningham if he chose to play for a different program or jumped to the new NBA G-League Select Team, which pays $125,000 for the season and would allow him to sign a sneaker endorsement as well as other off-court opportunities immediately. But as of now he’s decided to play the season for head coach Mike Boynton, and gives a huge lift to a program in the midst of a scandal.

It is overwhelmingly likely that Cunningham is a one-and-done player unless something unexpected happens with name, image, and likeness rights while he’s in college where the money wouldn’t be worth it for him to leave. But that one season might be enough to help sell some tickets and keep momentum for a program that could use it.

And of course it’s possible OSU wins on NCAA appeal, and will be able to compete in the postseason anyway.