‘Not Super Athletic’: Richard Jefferson Has an Interesting Player Comparison for Pistons’ Cade Cunningham

Published 08/17/2021, 8:51 AM EDT
Aug 13, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2) dribbles against New York Knicks guard Elfrid Payton (6) during an NBA Summer League game at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports


Ever since the Detroit Pistons won the lottery and picked Cade Cunningham as their No. 1 selection, everyone has their eyes glued on whether he steps up to all the expectations around him. In fact, scouts couldn’t stop raving about the young star who could dominate on both ends of the floor. While the Summer League confirmed the potential scouts saw in him, what remains to be seen is how he will fit next to their previous Draft pick, Killian Hayes. But Richard Jefferson has the perfect description of what Cade looks like to him.

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Cade Cunningham is a reminder of Brandon Roy

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Debates about Cade Cunningham and Killian Hayes’ chemistry on the court have been making rounds for a while now. Although both are very ball-dominant players, the popular opinion is that the duo could compliment each other. So well, that they could be a backcourt duo to look out for in the season.

However, all of this is conjecture until the two-step on the court together. But if there is someone who has a lot of faith in Cade, it’s Richard Jefferson. On ESPN’s ‘The Jump’, Jefferson stated, ” I like Hayes but Hayes also needs to make sure that he’s working with Cade Cunningham.” 

“When I look at Cade Cunningham, I see Brandon Roy. Like Brandon Roy was one of the most impressive, right away NBA players that you could see. He was like fast, but not that fast. He was quick but not that quick, he was athletic but not super athletic. But what he did was he just understood the game at an extremely high level and he didn’t have any deficiencies in his game.”

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Does the Pistons rookie have no flaws?

Well, Jefferson seems to think so. He believes that Cade could be a treat to watch in the NBA, as he has been in the Summer League so far. The Detroit Pistons may have lost games, but Cade did justice to his reputation. He also looked extremely comfortable with Hayes on the backcourt, something Detroit can hope will carry on in the regular season.

Aug 13, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; New York Knicks guard Miles McBride (2) defends against Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2) during an NBA Summer League game at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

His most impressive performance was against New York Knicks when he put up 24 points and dropped seven threes from the arc. Jefferson also said that his three’s might not be step-back ones like Jalen Green’s but it’s catch and rhythm. The pace that he plays with deserves credit and the Pistons can expect a great contribution from him.

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DIVE DEEPER

Detroit Pistons 2021-22 NBA Roster: Can Cade Cunningham and Jerami Grant Bring Back The Glory Days

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Yashima Bhatia

1489 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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