‘No Shade To Cade’- NBA Draft Analyst Suggests Jalen Suggs or USC Trojans Star Could Be Ahead of Cade Cunningham

Published 04/06/2021, 11:39 AM EDT
Mar 19, 2021; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys guard Cade Cunningham (2) passes the ball past Liberty Flames forward Kyle Rode (22) during the first round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports


Cade Cunningham has seen his profile in the mainstream media diminish over the last couple of weeks. This was understandable, as his OSU Cowboys said an early goodbye to the NCAA Tournament, while teams with other top lottery stars like the Gonzaga Bulldogs and the USC Trojans marched on.

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The performances that Evan Mobley and Jalen Suggs put in over the tournament have had people raving over them. Mobley looks like the perfect modern-day center, while Suggs is a gifted offensive guard. Their rise means that Cade Cunningham may not be the consensus #1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft anymore.

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“This is no shade on Cade. When Jalen Suggs started this tournament, one GM told me it was about Cade, Cade, Cade. Now he said, look of he got Cade, or Suggs, or even Evan Mobley from USC, he’d be happy. I think a lot of the draft experts are saying it’s Cade, Cade, Cade… With what Suggs is showing in terms of leadership, making big shots, leading this great team to the title game. I think he’s making a strong case for the number one pick.”

Cade Cunningham: Not the best pick anymore?

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Cade Cunningham is a phenomenal player and should not be replaced by anyone at the top of this draft. While Suggs has had a great post-season and may be better right now, Cunningham has a special future. He has the perfect size for a combo guard at 6’7. He can shoot, defend, and make plays at an elite level.

Apr 3, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Jalen Suggs (1) celebrate making the game winning shot against the UCLA Bruins in the national semifinals of the Final Four of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

While Suggs may be the better playmaker and scorer right now, Cunningham’s defensive potential makes him a more enticing pick. Mobley is a phenomenal big and also has a bright future in the league. However, the game is still run by guards so teams would prefer to pick either Suggs or Cunningham up.

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While the discussion has become hotter, it seems like Cunningham may still be the popular choice for the first pick. Despite what Suggs did in the post-season and what Mobley can offer, it seems this is the year for Cunningham to go #1.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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