Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham has been viewed as the potential no. 1 overall pick of this year’s NBA Draft. On Thursday, the 6-8 point guard moved one step closer to that vision by signifying his intention to join the draft.
After not fully committing to stay Cowboys or leave for the NBA after their NCAA tournament loss to Oregon State, Cunningham finally made his decision on Thursday in a press conference at the Gallagher-Iba Arena with head coach Mike Boyton by his side. Said Cunningham:
“It’s hard to make that decision in the moment, so I just wanted to wait until my head was level. But I was just blessed to have that opportunity to be able to enter the draft. I felt like I had did a lot of the work early to be in that position.”
Cunningham’s body of work during his freshman season was impressive, and it may have been enough to make him the most coveted college player in the country right now, at least as far as NBA scouts are concerned.
Wayman Tisdale Award
Cunningham won the Wayman Tisdale Award as the most outstanding college freshman in NCAA men’s basketball after leading the Big 12 in scoring at 20.1 points per game. That scoring average is the 4th highest by a freshman in Big 12 history and Cunningham also ranked 9th in the league in rebounding at 6.2 boards grabbed per contest. The 19-year old phenom was 8th in the Big 12 in field goal percentage at .438 and third in free throw shooting percentage at .846.
He also took home Big 12 Player of the Year honors and joined Kevin Durant, Michael Beasley, and Marcus Smart as the only players to become the top freshman in the league and the nation.
Cunningham also helped the Cowboys earn a 4th seed in the NCAA Tournament, their highest since they were a no. 2 seed in 2004 and 2005.
His best game of the season was a 40-piece which he dropped against rival Oklahoma State. Cunningham scored 10 points in the overtime period as the Cowboys upset the no. 7 seed 94-90. Watch this video and be impressed:
Here is video evidence of what it looks like when the number one pick drops 40 points and 11 boards and becomes a Bedlam superhero. pic.twitter.com/E3d3By3X2g
Cunningham is the early favorite to be picked first overall in the 2021 NBA Draft by the best NBA betting sites. PointsBet has him as the -250 odds on favorite while Bovada had him as a -300 favorite in their latest odds board. With the draft still four months away, there could still be changes but there’s no question that right now, Cunningham is the consensus top pick of the 2021 NBA Draft and that’s not surprising.
It’s rare to find a 19-year old franchise-caliber ball handler much less one who is 6-8 tall. 6-9 Magic Johnson and 6-10 Ben Simmons were selected first overall in their respective draft classes.
But not only is Cunningham a terrific ball-handler, he is also an excellent shot maker who shot 40% from three-point distance. He can also play defense and defend multiple positions with his length.
With his versatility, there is no question that Cade Cunningham will be one of the most sought-after players in the NBA draft. There are other players like Jalen Green, Jonathan Kuminga, Evan Mobley, and Jalen Suggs who are also ultra-talented but none of them have the same versatility and ability to thrive under pressure that Cunningham displayed at Oklahoma State.
Steve Richardson started writing content online in 2013 and has yet to slow down. Since joining our team at GamblingSites.org, he has covered sports, casino news, gambling laws, and much more! ...
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