Cade Cunningham

2021 NBA Draft Scouting Report


Age on draft night: 19.8 | 6'7" | 220 | Wingspan: 7’0”
Birthdate: Sept. 25, 2001

Primary Values: Elite court vision, ball handling, size

Ranking: 1
Pos Ranking: 1
Draft range: 1-2

Scouting Report:

Strengths: Cunningham is an elite prospect who possesses most of the tools NBA teams are looking for in an NBA wing. He has elite size and basketball IQ for the position and approaches the game with a quiet confidence that makes him unflappable in crunch time. Cunningham excels with the ball in his hands, can playmake both from halfcourt sets and in transition and has great control of the pace of the game. Coming into the season, NBA scouts expressed concern about his outside shot, but he’s shooting 43% from behind the arc, making him a scoring threat from anywhere on the court. He plays unselfish basketball, but will take over a game in the last few minutes if he needs to. Given his size, length and strength, he has the potential to guard 2s, 3s and 4s in the NBA. He’s an excellent defensive rebounder for his position and picks up his fair share of steals and blocks.

Weaknesses: Cunningham’s assist-to-turnover ratio has been underwater all year, raising eyebrows among scouts. While he’s known for having elite court vision, he has often been really careless with the basketball. His high turnover rate may say something about the fact that he’s not surrounded with elite talent and the outsized role he plays at Oklahoma State, but it is a red flag nonetheless and has caused many scouts to see him as a playmaking wing more than a point guard. Cunningham’s lack of elite athleticism, especially laterally, raises concerns about his ability to defend quicker guards on the perimeter, and he’s struggled at times finishing at the rim given his lack of explosiveness off the floor.

Bottom line: Cunningham is one of the most complete prospects I’ve scouted in the past decade. As a big, ball handling wing he plays the most coveted position in the NBA, he has elite size and feel for the game and even his weaknesses aren’t major concerns for NBA scouts. He’s the type of high-ceiling, high-floor prospect that could be a franchise cornerstone for a team.

Position-specific traits:

athleticism: 7

ballhandling: 8

court vision: 9

defense: 7

leadership: 9

NBA readiness: 9

shooting: 8

size: 10

strength: 9

Statistical strengths for position:
3-point shooting
defensive rebounding

Statistical weaknesses for position:
assist-to-turnover ratio

Best game: Feb. 27 at Oklahoma (40 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals, 2 blocks, 6 turnovers)

Worst game: Jan. 9 at Kansas State (5 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists)

Key stats:

PPG: 20.1
RPG: 6.2
APG: 3.5
BPG: 0.8
SPG: 1.6
TOPG: 4.0
EFG%: 51.5
3PT%: 40.0
3PM/PG: 2.5
FT%: 83
FTM/PG: 5.5
PER: 21.6
WS: 4.0

Full stats on Sports