It’s no small fear as we’ve seen Isiah Thomas,Grant Hill, and Ben Wallace 3 of the most popular Pistons in franchise history. That is leaving out Joe Dumars,Bill Laimbeer,Rip Hamilton,and Chauncey Billups as well. Most would Isiah Thomas as the best Piston ever and he was the captain of the Bad Boy Pistons who wrecked havoc on Michael Jordan for years and were the biggest nemesis of Mike’s legendary career. Cade Cunningham I believe has the potential to be the best Piston ever, to become that he will have to win championships in Detroit and I’d bank on him winning at least 1 ring before he ever decides to leave the Pistons. Pistons GM compared Cade Cunningham to Celtics legend Larry Bird and I understood where he was coming from as I see Cade having a similar career to the former Celtic great.
He was injured for most of the first half and even though the Detroit Pistons have a horrid record at the moment there is reason to believe Cade can get the Pistons in the playoffs next season. I originally thought they had a shot at the playoffs or at least the play-in this season but Cade came back too late and he is still in running for the Rookie of the Year award. Cade has had his share of erratic nights which you expect from a rookie but i foresee a massive leap for Cade next season, the Pistons have holes all over their roster but I think they’ve found 3 pieces to feature going forward in Cade,Bagley,and Bey going into next season. I watched Rip Hamilton and Chauncey lineup alongside Ben Wallace and dominate the East through a 6-7 year stretch, I even saw Grant Hill’s breakthrough as a Piston, and I also watched some tape on the Bad Boy Pistons and know how great Isiah was during his title runs scoring 30+ on Jordan and sending him home packing.
Cade isn’t even spoken about as one of the young rising stars like Luka,Giannis,Jokic,Morant,LaMelo,Edwards, or Tatum. I’ve heard some go as far as to say he will be a bust and not even be the best player in his own draft, if I had to make a prediction I’d say the crown for that battle will be between Cade Cunningham or Scottie Barnes, I hate to leave out Green and Mobley who also have a shot but I’ve never seen anyone quite like Cade. Most compare him to a more athletic Luka which would be insane to even imagine but I see a taller Jason Kidd with an offensive arsenal which is a first ballot hall-of-famer, mind you Jason Kidd is the best play-maker in NBA history for me. Cade has that same Jason Kidd knack for just being able to make everyone better, sure it doesn’t reflect on the Pistons record this season but he’s been out for a good portion of the season and look at the rejuvenation of Marvin Bagley ever since he was traded there.
Cade will be a leader a-lot like Isiah was for the Pistons, you can already see how much this young team buys into Cade being the primary ball handler and head of the snake a-lot like Luka is for Dallas. You can trust Cade with the game on the line because he can take you from the top of the key,from the post,he can shoot it from anywhere on the floor,he has every pass in the book,and utilizes his mind boggling 7’0 wingspan on the defensive end along with his 6’6 frame. The Pistons have been waiting on that draft pick which will change he direction of their franchise, I thought Andre Drummond was that pick but it will be Cade Cunningham. To surpass what Isiah and Ben did as Pistons Cade will have to do some legendary stuff over the next 6-7 seasons and I wouldn’t be shocked if Cade manages to get this team to at least the second round of the playoffs next season, let’s not forget that is what made current GOAT candidate LeBron James special the fact that he was carrying his team on his back early on in his career to places they weren’t expected to be with subpar talent.
Why can’t Cade do the same in Detroit over the next few years as LeBron did in Cleveland? Detroit is in good hands they have a top 5 pick in this coming draft and it all comes down to finding Cade his running mate and they will be set to build and compete for championships not too long from now. LeBron had to deal with the Cavaliers low-balling his running mate Carlos Boozer and watched him leave for the Utah Jazz, also let’s not forget the Chicago Bulls didn’t take off until they drafted Jordan’s running mates Pippen and Grant. The Pistons are going about it the right way and Cade could carve himself out a legacy in Detroit a lot like Larry Bird’s who Troy Weaver compared Cade to, Bird was also aided by good drafting in Boston and never had to leave to win elsewhere since he was able to line-up alongside Kevin McHale and Robert Parish.
To conclude, Cade has an opportunity to be something special in the NBA. Maybe he never becomes the best point-guard ever but I do believe he will leave his mark and the Pistons will once again be perennial contenders in the Eastern Conference for a long-time so long as Cade is at the helm. I think Cade’s got the stuff man, he seems so composed on the court and it’s like the competition does not phase him. It’s almost like he foresees future title runs but understands it will be a process,a process which all the former greats went through. The moment he came back from injury this season and played his first game as a Piston, I watched that game live and thought to myself Detroit basketball is finally back. That Cunningham Detroit jersey will be hanging in the raftors 15 years from now, till next time.