Cade Cunningham is most likely going to change a franchise when he gets drafted into the NBA next year. He is unlikely to fall out of the top-three of the Draft and is all but ready to make the jump to the NBA. However, Cunningham is also having a massive impact on the Oklahoma State Cowboys, taking the unfancied team into the conversation for the NCAA tournament.
One of the biggest keys of a modern NBA guard is having a formidable jump-shot. Cunningham is a big guard that has made a living as a slasher, but he is developing a three-point shot. He is shooting over 40% from the three. This has been bolstered by Cade shooting almost 60% from three in his last five games.
Cade spoke to The Athletic and opened up about his shot., which has faced criticism prior to this run.
“I never really thought I was just a bad shooter. It’s more just being confident and making a move and pulling up and knocking it down. Confidence has been everything for me. That’s the biggest thing — I step in and I know I’m going to knock it down because I’ve shot so many shots.”
It isn’t fair to have the expectations of Cade Cunningham that everyone has right now. However, that is the nature of the beats and he will have to learn on his feet in the NBA. Top picks face scrutiny that can last an entire career, just ask Andrew Wiggins, who is still struggling to live up to his potential seven years later.
However, a 6’6 combo guard that can do everything on the floor is never a bad thing to have on a team. Cade has the basic skeleton of the skill-set of an elite player. However, he has to develop those skills further, especially his shot. While it isn’t bad, it will get harder to get the looks he gets right now in the NBA.
This player could be a generational talent in a league that is now looking to replace an entire generation of players that dominated through the last two decades.