2 - Cade Cunningham

6-8, 220 Point Guard/Shooting Guard
Oklahoma State Freshman
Birthday
09/25/01 (20.2 yrs)
Hometown
Arlington, TX
High School
Montverde Academy
Team Site Profile
Athleticism
8
Size
9
Defense
8
Strength
8
Quickness
7
Leadership
9
Jump Shot
8
NBA Ready
8
Ball Handling
8
Potential
9
Passing
9
Intangibles
9

NBA Comparison: Jayson Tatum/Luka Doncic

Strengths: A prized 6’8 220+ lb lead guard prospect who has the skill set and physical gifts to double as a match up nightmare for smaller guards, while also being able to match up well with the bigger wings and “point forwards” the NBA has to offer … Has shown throughout his amateur career that he has no issue using his size to his advantage, whether its simply by overpowering guards on his forays to the hoop with his strong frame, getting to his spots and rising up above defenders to score, not being shy about mixing it up with front line players in the paint, or being able to see over the top of the defense and creating different angles or make cross court dimes … An unselfish player who can make timely passes on the move, his 3.5 apg as a Fr. doesn’t speak to his willingness or ability as a playmaker … Likes to crash the glass (6.2 rpg) and initiate easy, quick strike offense before the defense can get set after a missed or made shot … Good in transition, defenders generally struggle to contain him when in his path to the rim in the open court and he usually delivers well timed passes to teammates who get to the rim or 3-point line if he doesn’t call his own number … Pretty effective operating in the pick and roll, showing a good command of when to pass the ball and often making pocket passes to moving teammates even against tight hedges and over defenders outstretched hands … A strong isolation player who is at his best when going downhill; effective driving in either direction (seems to prefer going to his left though) and generally does a good job of not getting out of control when operating, and can play above the rim with an opening and a head of steam … Polished. Has an intriguing triple threat repertoire, he frequently frees himself up and gets space in the mid-range area by making subtle head and body fakes going in either direction, and has the size and strength to keep defenders on his hip when he gets a step on them … Takes and converts a good amount of step back and sidestep shots off the dribble, showing good ability to lose defenders and get daylight in the mid-range and from deep … Also shows promise as a finisher given his very good strength and body control, has some hesitation and spin moves he goes to if his initial path to the rim is cut off … Effective floater, especially when going right … Above average instincts and basketball acumen, reads the action well on both ends of the court and also does a good job of dictating the flow of the game with the ball in his hands … Came into college with questions about his shooting, and quieted doubters as the year progressed after converting 40% from deep on a robust 5 attempts a game, and he found a variety of ways to make those shots be it spotting up, in transition, off the bounce and occasionally even coming off pin downs … Groundwork is there for him to be a good post-up player when matched up against smaller guards as well, and he is already reasonably effective utilizing spins and hooks over his left shoulder when the defender sits on his strong hand … Projects to be a very good defensive player at the next level, and will offer plenty of versatility as a guy who can potentially switch PG-PF without much drop-off, which holds massive value in today’s NBA … When focused, Cunningham can smother players on the perimeter guarding the ball, beat screens and get back into the play, and also is an asset as a help defender contesting in the paint and/or stepping in for charges … Additionally, he has already shown signs of quick hands and playmaking on this end (1.6 spg & nearly a block per game as a Fr.)…Up to the task in crunch time and when his team needed a scoring boost in general, wants the ball and came up big with the late-game heroics on more than a couple of occasions for OK State as a Fr. with all the eyes on him, which has to be encouraging for his projection as a potential franchise cornerstone … Shot 84% from the FT line (nearly 6 FTA per game), further quieting doubters about his shooting touch while highlighting his hard work into being a shot-making threat … Would not be a surprise to see Cunningham’s overall efficiency rise in the NBA, where there will be less defensive attention placed solely on collapsing on him and more capable shooting options than he enjoyed in his year in Stillwater … Very precocious, mature and confident individual … High character individual with strong family background …

Weaknesses: While he is a physically gifted prospect, Cunningham lacks some of the juice in his legs required to be considered a dynamic athlete or leaper … Not the quickest or fastest player either, and it shows at times when he is attacking the rim and/or trying to turn the corner in the pick and roll game offensively in the half court, leading to a number of offensive fouls or wasted possessions that contributed to his high turnover rate and negative A:TO in 2020-2021 (4 topg to 3.5 apg) … Generally makes good decisions against traps and hard hedges, but sometimes forces passes through multiple defenders and had moments when he airmailed passes under pressure as well … Sometimes telegraphs where he wants to go with the ball or drives aimlessly into no mans lands and leaves his feet to make passes, giving help defenders an extra split second to come up with steals and deflections … Just OK as a finisher in traffic, more of a below the rim type player who is likely to try and use his body to shield the ball and finish around the defense rather than elevating and finishing with authority amongst the trees in half court offense … Smaller guards can get low and pester him into turnovers when he gets lax with his handle initiating offense, will need to get somewhat more refined and aware as a ball-handler at the lead guard spot … Can be beat off the dribble by slashers occasionally, possesses only adequate lateral quickness and sometimes gets upright when denying penetration; subsequently picking up fouls (2.5 per game) or collapsing the team’s defense … His footwork could stand to improve at times as well, occasionally makes wild closeouts or takes wasted steps that can be attacked off the bounce or turned into FTs by players who are savvy about drawing fouls …

Overall: Cunningham has all the makings of the #1 overall pick in the 2021 Draft, and has been widely projected as such since he decided to honor his commitment to OK State just before the start of the 2020 season … He showed a very strong all-around game as a Fr., and his projection to the NBA is centered around his size and frame, ability to be a playmaker for himself and others, promise as a position less defender, his emergence as a knockdown shooter, and as someone you can rely on to take and make a shot in the clutch all in one … He routinely made big plays down the stretch for an OK State team that really struggled to shoot the ball but played its best basketball in March largely due to their young blue chip recruit…He has some athletic limitations and some fundamental chinks in his armor to work on as a ball-handler and playmaker while he continues to polish his guard skills, but he has already shown that he is willing to work and improve by the strides he made in a year as a shooter for there to be little to worry about going forward … benefits from today’s game where, ‘high usage’, “ball dominant” players that are in his mold like Luka Doncic and Jayson Tatum are dominating the league …

Jorrye Nixon 5/3/21

Strengths: 6’6 combo guard … Good size and length, especially for position with a 7’0.25 wingspan … Good athlete, gets to the rim and finishes above the rim with ease. Quick jump that he uses on both ends … Good scoring ability in the open floor as well as in the half-court. Can create shots against any defender at the high school level; shoots over the top of shorter defenders and drives on big men when on the perimeter. Slashes to the rim off the dribble going both left and right. Protects the ball on drives. Changes speed … Accurate around the rim and hits shots with either hand at various angles. Can score in the post and shows nice touch on jump hook … Can score in a variety of ways. Scoring stats: 9.3 ppg 53.8% FG% Nike EYBL 2018. 23.8 ppg (7th) 59.2% FG% Nike EYBL 2019. 11.7 ppg U19 World Cup 2019. Shot 48.7% FG% at the NBPA Top 100 in 2019 … Can shoot off the catch or dribble. High release point, doesn’t waste motion in his shot, and gets it off with just a little bit of space. Shot 35% 3PT% over the Nike EYBL in 2019 and made noticeable improvement over his senior year as a 3PT shooter … Good ball handler and can serve as a team’s primary at the point, makes plays for himself and others. Uses dribble moves in transition at full speed; using effective crossovers, in & outs, spins, etc. … Unselfish and high IQ. Very good court vision and passing ability. Makes crosscourt passes with either hand. Makes proper reads and decisions. Alert for cutters/alley-oop opportunities and knows where he’s passing before he receives the ball. Good timing on lead passes. Passes out of drives. Good pick & roll ball handler. Averaged 5.3 assists per game over the Nike EYBL in 2019. Finished 3rd with 5.7 assists per game at the U19 World Cup in 2019 … Good balance of playing aggressive and letting it come to him. Knows when to score and when to facilitate … Can play on or off the ball … Versatile defender, defending every position at the high school level and projects to guard different positions at the next levels. Positions himself well on the defensive end. Averaged 1.3 steals per game over the Nike EYBL in 2019. Averaged 1.4 steals per game at the U19 World Cup in 2019 … Good timing and blocks shots well for position. Averaged 1.2 blocks per game over the Nike EYBL in 2019. Averaged 0.9 blocks per game at the U19 World Cup in 2019 … Good rebounder for position. Averaged 7 rebounds per game over the Nike EYBL in 2019 … Strong build and physical profile. Plays physical and through contact. Draws fouls at a good rate. Shot a 4th most 7.6 free throws per game over the Nike EYBL in 2019 … Impacts the game in multiple areas and is still effective if he’s not scoring … High floor …

Weaknesses: Not a lot to nitpick with Cunningham being a well-rounded prospect … Good athlete and has no problem finishing above the rim but wouldn’t be categorized as top tier in terms of explosive ability … Can expand midrange game … Can work on limiting the turnovers. Can try to thread too many needles through traffic and forces passes at times. Averaged 2.9 turnovers per game over the Nike EYBL in 2019 … Good athlete but doesn’t have the quickest feet. Plays good on-ball defense at the high school level but may lack some lateral quickness when defending point guards at the highest level …

Outlook: Oklahoma State freshman … Helped lead Montverde to a 25-0 record as a senior … 2020 Naismith Player of the Year … 2020 McDonald’s All-American … Named to the 2020 Jordan Brand Classic … Named to the 2020 Nike Hoop Summit … 2019 Nike EYBL MVP … MVP of the 2019 Pangos All-American Camp … Won Gold at the U19 World Cup in 2019 …

Evan Tomes 11/13/20

Strengths: 6’6 combo guard … Good size and length, especially for position with a 7’0.25 wingspan … Good athlete, gets to the rim and finishes above the rim with ease. Quick jump that he uses on both ends … Good scoring ability in the open floor as well as the half-court. Can create shots against any defender at the high school level; shoots over the top of shorter defenders and drives on opponents of his size when on the perimeter. Slashes to the rim off the dribble going both left and right. Protects the ball on drives. Changes speed … Accurate around the rim and hits shots with either hand at various angles. Can score in the post and shows nice touch on jump hook … Averaged 9.3 points per game at 53.8% FG% over the Nike EYBL in 2018 and finished 7th in scoring with 23.8 points per game at 59.2% FG% in 2019. Averaged 11.7 points per game at the U19 World Cup in 2019. Shot 48.7% FG% at the NBPA Top 100 in 2019 … Can shoot off the catch or dribble. High release point and doesn’t waste motion in his shot. Has shooting range out to the three … Good ball handler and can serve as a team’s primary at the point, makes plays for himself and others. Uses dribble moves in transition at full speed; using effective crossovers, in & outs, spins, etc. … Unselfish and high IQ. Very good court vision and passing ability. Makes crosscourt passes with either hand. Makes proper reads and decisions. Alert and knows where he’s passing before he receives the ball. Passes out of drives. Can run the pick & roll. Averaged 5.3 assists per game over the Nike EYBL in 2019. Finished 3rd with 5.7 assists per game at the U19 World Cup in 2019 … Good balance of playing aggressive and letting it come to him. Knows when to score and when to facilitate … Can play on or off the ball … Versatile defender, defending every position at the high school level and projects to guard different positions at the next levels. Positions himself well on the defensive end. Averaged 1.3 steals per game over the Nike EYBL in 2019. Averaged 1.4 steals per game at the U19 World Cup in 2019 … Good timing and blocks shots well for position. Averaged 1.2 blocks per game over the Nike EYBL in 2019. Averaged 0.9 blocks per game at the U19 World Cup in 2019 … Good rebounder for position. Averaged seven rebounds per game over the Nike EYBL in 2019 … Strong build and physical profile. Plays physical and through contact. Draws fouls at a good rate. Shot a 4th most 7.6 free throws per game over the Nike EYBL in 2019 … Impacts the game in multiple areas and is still effective if he’s not scoring … High floor …

Weaknesses: Definitely a scoring threat from three and was solid over the Nike EYBL (35% 3PT%) but can still improve consistency. Only shot 7.1% 3PT% (1-14) at the U19 World Cup in 2019. Missed all six 3PT attempts over seven games at the NBPA Top 100 in 2019 … Can expand midrange game and improve midrange shooting consistency … Can work on limiting the turnovers. Averaged 2.9 turnovers per game over the Nike EYBL in 2019 … Good athlete but doesn’t have the quickest feet. Gets beat at times when defending guards on the perimeter …

Outlook: Previously a scoring wing, Montverde experimented and succeeded running Cunningham at the point, positioning him to the top of his class … 2019 Nike EYBL MVP … MVP of the 2019 Pangos All-American Camp … Won Gold at the U19 World Cup in 2019 …

Evan Tomes 8/27/19

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