Strengths: A 6’4 wing coming off a big season for Oregon State, Cunningham declared a year early for the draft … His most well-known trait comes from his athleticism, which is clearly elite … Has strong explosiveness as a leaper, and is pretty quick and fast, but he has a certain smoothness about his athleticism that makes it even more impressive … Has some highlight reel level plays to his name, and is effective using his athleticism to make an impact in different aspects of the game … Seems to hang in the air … Has adequate size for a SG prospect, and more than enough length to be effective as well … Put together pretty well, and is well-defined with a frame that can add weight … Has nice upside on the offensive end … Able to score very effectively, even with a skill set that needs polish … Has a good understanding of how to move without the ball to get shots … Real good potential as a slasher, and has nice natural ability to get to the hoop … Pretty good ball-handling skills and first step … Looks really smooth in the lane, and shows outstanding body control and fluidity … Nice shooting mechanics, and has the potential to be a pretty respectable spot-up shooter … Electric in transition … Runs the floor extremely well and finishes consistently with a head of steam … Has potential to be a threat for backdoor alley-oops …Watch out for him on the offensive glass, will get above the rim tip-ins if the defense ball-watches on rebounds … Cunningham had the reputation of being an outstanding defender in the Pac-12 the last 2 seasons, and has the tools for that to translate in time … One of the absolute best ball-thieves in the 2012 draft class, and will jump in passing lanes or use his quick hands to pick a ball-handlers pocket … Top-notch anticipation skills … Has the ability to defend both guard spots effectively … Played some time at PG for Oregon State, and has the ability to play spot time there in the future … Unselfish player … Draws foul pretty well, especially in transition … Nice overall potential as a scorer … Weaknesses: Although Cunningham has adequate size, he is thin and will need to put on a little more weight to deal with the bigger SG’s in the NBA … Needs a lesson is shot selection, and will go too far at times with his jumper off the bounce, where he is inconsistent at best … Doesn’t have a strong mid-range game … Has NBA range on his jumper, and good mechanics, but should look to get more confident with his shot from deep … Will need more repetition with his jumper for it to blossom into the weapon it can be … Gets to the rim reasonably well, but sometimes is a bit loose with his handle and lets the ball slow him down on slashes … Not a great 1-on-1 scorer … Will try and get cute with his finishes around the rim, does not always go up strong against shot-blockers … Sometimes makes bonehead plays, and shows a raw understanding of the game at times … Can get overzealous for steals … Has a habit of getting stagnated by screens, where his thin frame is exposed the most on D …Was productive at OSU, but never made them a winner in the years he was a featured option, despite the Pac-12 being a weaker league in his 3 seasons there … Not a very polished player overall, and will need time to adjust to the NBA …
Overall: Cunningham’s got some nice potential….He really should polish his game a bit more, but there is potential…He’s a very good athlete, unselfish, has progressed each year as a jump shooter, and he has promise as a slasher….Probably more of a long term prospect than he is ready to contribute to an NBA squad immediately though…Oregon State struggled while he was there, and the Pac 12 hasn’t been a strong league in about 3 years…Still, some team is going to like his upside…There is talk about him possibly going at the end of the 1st round, but he’s a likely 2nd round pick depending on how his workouts go
Jorrye Nixon 6/3/12
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