It came as a huge major surprise to Detroit Pistons fans last season when point guard Cade Cunningham didn’t win the 2021 Rookie of the Year honors. Despite being the leading scorer and arguably the most complete player of his class, Cunningham finished 2nd or 3rd on most voting ballots.
Just when we thought the Cunningham disrespect was finally done, the national media recently poured more gasoline on the flame.
ESPN analyst Richard Jefferson and the NBA Today cast were discussing possible trade packages for superstar Kevin Durant when news broke he requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets. One of the most suggested teams to be involved in trade scenarios was the Toronto Raptors.
Richard Jefferson isn’t as high on Cade Cunningham as the rest of us.
While discussing the pieces, Toronto could send in a deal; he took this opportunity to make another not-so-surprising take in regards to the 2021 draft class.
“Scottie Barnes was the second-best rookie this year, right? Like, I know he was Rookie of the Year, but he was the second-best rookie this year,” Jefferson said. “If we were to re-draft, I’m pretty sure Evan Mobley would probably go No. 1.”
NBA journalist Zach Lowe was the lone member on the desk who suggested the Detroit Pistons guard would still be No. 1 in a re-draft. The comment was met with a sarcastic and dismissive look on the face of Jefferson.
Here is the clip below:
Cunningham averaged 17.4 points, 5.5 assists, and 5.6 rebounds in 64 contests as a rookie. He shot 41.6% from the field and 31.4% from beyond the arc. While there are certainly areas Cunningham can improve, his future is bright.