Cade Cunningham’s magical one-and-done season at Oklahoma State was capped off just how Cunningham and coach Mike Boynton envisioned it for so many years.
The Detroit Pistons made former Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft on Thursday night. Cunningham becomes the first lottery pick Oklahoma State has produced since the Boston Celtics took Marcus Smart with the 6th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
Pistons General Manager Troy Weaver reportedly received plenty of interest and trade offers for the No. 1 pick ahead of the draft, as is usually the case for the team holding the No. 1 pick. Weaver turned down those offers to select a six-foot-guard out of Arlington, Texas and Oklahoma State University.
Cunningham averaged 20.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.5 assists in his lone season at Oklahoma State and will instantly make the Detroit Pistons a threat to make the playoffs in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. The only consistent starters for Detroit last season were forwards Saddiq Bey, Jerami Grant and Mason Plumlee. Cunningham will add much needed stability to a back-court that has some depth but no consistent starters from last season.
Fans first look at Cunningham with the Pistons will likely come on Sunday, August 8th at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas when Detroit opens its four game schedule with the Oklahoma City Thunder on ESPN2. The Pistons will take on the Houston Rockets on August 10th on NBATV before playing the New York Knicks on August 13th on NBATV and closing out the Summer League against the Los Angeles Lakers on August 14th on ESPN2. Detroit could play more games depending on how the first four games go.
The NBA announced this week that it will be going back to the traditional league calendar with the season officially tipping off on October 19th. The Pistons schedule should be released in the coming months.
Cunningham has already begun signing endorsement deals, including a deal with Nike that is believed to be the highest sneaker deal among the players in the 2021 draft class. Even if Cunningham lives up to the massive expectations he has, it will likely be a few years before Nike is willing to give him a signature sneaker and apparel line.
Being selected No. 1 overall in the NBA Draft is a big deal and Cunningham officially became the first Oklahoma State Cowboy to hold that honor when the Pistons selected him. From all of us at CRFF, congratulations and good luck with Detroit Pistons and throughout your NBA career!