The 2021 NBA draft will take place Thursday, July 29 with the Detroit Pistons holding the No. 1 pick. The Houston Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto Raptors and Orlando Magic round out the top five selections.
We take a look at some of the prospects available in this draft, gauge their strengths, weaknesses, NBA comparisons and best landing spot within the player’s projected draft range. Here’s a breakdown for Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham.
There’s not much Cunningham can’t do. He’s a force on both sides of the ball, especially offensively. Cunningham is best attacking the basket, but has a strong three-point shot to complement his driving ability. He’s able to guard multiple positions due to his size and reads plays well. Cunningham can fit in any system and doesn’t need the ball in his hands to be effective.
There are some downsides to Cunningham, especially when games start to get away. He’ll try to force passes and still hasn’t emerged as a great passer. He’s not an explosive athlete and could struggle against speedier defenders. Cunningham occasionally turns off in games, something he admitted he needs to work on.
Cunningham has the size to play small forward but will likely be a lead ball-handler in time. He compares well to Paul George, who exploded as a primary star during the playoffs when Kawhi Leonard went down. Cunningham possesses the skills and upside to match George’s output.
Best Landing Spot
The best landing spot is whichever team picks him. The Pistons should have no problems taking him with the top spot and he’ll immediately make them a stronger unit. Detroit can figure out whether he fits with Killian Hayes (he does) after taking him with the top pick.