There will be a new reigning No. 1 pick in the NBA once the 2022 NBA Draft begins Thursday at 8 p.m. ET with the Orlando Magic holding the selection at this point. No. 1 overall selections tend to be stars, but there have been a few duds in recent seasons. That isn’t the case with 2021 top pick Cade Cunningham.
The Detroit Pistons took Cunningham first overall in the 2021 NBA Draft and it’s looking like a fantastic decision. The Oklahoma State guard had long been viewed as the “can’t miss” prospect and Detroit was always going to take him. Here’s how he performed last season.
Cunningham started the season on the injury report and made his debut after the team had played four games. He won his debut with the Pistons, but only managed to score two points on 12.5% shooting. The first 25 games were a struggle for Cunningham, as he averaged 9.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game while shooting 38.3% from the floor and 31.4% from deep. This poor start likely cost him the Rookie of the Year award.
After missing some more games with injuries at different points, Cunningham closed the season on a tear. Over his final 23 games, he averaged 20.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game while shooting 44.4% from the floor and 28% from deep. Next season, he’ll look to be more efficient from deep while also elevating the team overall.