The Detroit Pistons earned the No. 1 overall draft pick this past offseason, and they used it to select guard Cade Cunningham. However, he missed the first four games of the 2021-22 season with a lingering ankle injury.
However, since his return, he's shown that he has all of the tools needed to be an effective NBA player. So much so that one of the sport's top players had nothing but complimentary things to say about him.
Former NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant, who battled Cunningham and the Pistons last night, has been in regular communication with the latter
“To play against him in the NBA, it’s sweet,” Durant said. “We had a lot of conversations about playing at this level and what it took. I think he’s going to be a tough, tough cover for a long, long time.”
“(Durant) reached out to me and said he liked my game,” Cunningham said of Durant. “From that point on, we stayed in contact.”
Another name that Detroit Pistons fans know extremely well is none other than Mr. Big Shot himself, 2004 NBA Finals MVP Chauncey Billups. Currently the head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers, the former Pistons legend believes that Cunningham will author a similar story in his career.
“I’ve seen him sometimes thinking, ‘When should I shoot, when should I try to play-make?’ thinking he has an advantage, and he probably does, but maybe it’s time to pass,” said Trailblazers coach and Pistons legend Chauncey Billups. “I don’t think he had to think about those things before, when he was in college. Just be aggressive at all times. He’s now playing with guys that are really good players. He’s probably never played with anybody better than him before. Those are adjustments that have to happen when you make it to the NBA, and he’s just going through those things.
“I think Cade is going to be a special player in this league. He’s a special talent. He can do everything you ask out there.”
– – Quotes via James Edwards III of The Athletic Link – –