Cade Cunningham Scouting Report

Scouting Reports

The consensus preseason number 1 prospect, Cade Cunningham lived up to the hype in his one season at Oklahoma State. As a freshman, Cunningham averaged 20 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 3.5 APG, 1.6 SPG, 0.8 BPG, and 4 TOPG on shooting splits of 44/40/85. Below is his full scouting report:

Name: Cade Cunningham

Height/Weight: 6’8 / 220

Wingspan/ standing reach: N/A

Hand size: N/A

Position: Combo guard

College/ country: Oklahoma State

Tools: IQ, playmaking, shot creation, shooting


  • Incredible passer that can thread the needle exceptionally well
  • Good shooter
  • 3 level scoring upside
  • Good shooter both at a standstill and off the dribble
  • Reads traps at an elite level
  • Tight handle helps him create space at any level
  • Good rebounder
  • Strong defensive instincts- can navigate around screens well off-ball
  • Reliable runner


  • Might struggle with turnovers early in his career from teams who try to make him beat defenses as a passer
  • Needs to become more consistent as a shooter; misses a lot of easy shots that will come with time
  • Doesn’t blow by defenders 1-on-1
  • Struggles to guard P&R ball-handlers


Cade Cunningham is a 3 level scoring primary creator with high-end playmaking ability, along with a strong defensive profile, making him the clear-cut number one pick. While he doesn’t blow by defenders to get to his spot, his quick handle, ability to change speeds easily, and ability to score at any spot in the half-court make him an unpredictable and difficult defensive assignment. Defensively, Cade projects to be a near-neutral defender, which is a positive for someone with Cunningham’s offensive prowess. He can be a surprisingly good front-court defender in certain lineups, allowing him to play up in the lineup in guarding forwards. His outstanding defensive instincts make him difficult to exploit in the pick & roll. 

Cunningham can run the offense, being both a score-first and pass-first creator. He thrives at drawing double teams, he can dribble in traffic, and he can hit a variety of moves to step into jumpers, which he can reliably make. Cunningham is a dream player for Detroit, and it’s easy to see why he is the top prize this season.

Shades of: Luka Doncic, Paul Pierce

Projected draft range: 1

Fit with Detroit:

Cade Cunningham fits nearly perfectly with any team, but will fit exceptionally well in Detroit as the primary creator and leader offensively. As we’ve seen in the NBA, teams can never have enough creators, so there should be no issues fitting with Killian Hayes in the back-court. Cade offers versatility 1-4 on both ends, being able to guard up defensively, as well as play both on and off-ball offensively. Cunningham is the easiest lock for the first overall pick draft since Zion Williamson in 2019 and Ben Simmons in 2016, so Detroit has a lot to look forward to in the future with Cunningham at the helm.