Number One Prospect Cade Cunningham Explains How His Playing Style Is Similar to Luka Doncic

Published 06/10/2021, 12:00 PM EDT
Jan 1, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) celebrates during the second quarter against the Miami Heat at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports


Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson was one of the earliest tall point guards in the NBA. While it became a rarity after him, it is once again a growing trend now with Luka Doncic and Ben Simmons carrying forward Johnson’s legacy. And soon, they will have more company.

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The number one projected pick in the upcoming 2021 NBA Draft, Cade Cunningham is also a 6’8 point guard like Doncic. And because of physical this similarity, they are also similar on the court. In a recent interview, Cunningham revealed the similarities he shared with Doncic and how he also modeled his game after the Slovenian.

He said, “I said Luka earlier because our body types resemble each other the most in the NBA. His role: he’s a primary ball handler, he’s the one making the plays. That’s why I said Luka. It’s weird now because me and Luka are so close in age. His game, he’s shooting deep threes and I feel like there are a lot of things we do that are pretty similar and the way we approach the game is also similar.”

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DIVE DEEPER

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Can Cade Cunningham emulate the excellent ROTY campaign by Luka Doncic?

Despite being the best prospect out of his class, Doncic fell to third during the 2018 NBA Draft. However, he proved that he is indeed the best player, as he won the Rookie of the Year award. He averaged 21.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and six assists per game for the Mavericks while setting multiple records.

May 28, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) brings the ball up court against the LA Clippers during the first quarter in game three in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Cunningham will be hoping to have similar success. While he also has high potential like Doncic, he doesn’t enter the NBA with similar experience like Doncic. Cunningham played one season in college while Doncic came in with three years of professional experience from EuroLeague.

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In his only season with the Oklahoma State Cowboys, Cunningham averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 3.5 rebounds. The team wasn’t relevant in recent years, and he helped them to become a respectable team once again.

All the leadership he showed in college will be key for Cunningham as he is most likely going to play with another struggling team in the NBA. All eyes will be on him in the upcoming season and his battle with Doncic will be a hyped matchup as well.

WATCH STORY HERE – Injuries That James Harden Has Powered Through Over The Years of his Career

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Feb 3, 2021; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys guard Cade Cunningham (2) in action during the game against the TCU Horned Frogs at Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

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Aaron Mathew

1648 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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