On Cade Cunningham’s return from injury for the Pistons

Per the Detroit Free Press:

Last season, the Detroit Pistons’ season was largely derailed with Cade Cunningham’s season-ending shin surgery.

But Cunningham has reportedly fully recovered, and the third-year guard will play for the USA Select Team in Vegas next month. Clips have emerged on social media of Cunningham playing with other pros this summer.

What does the return of Cunningham, the Pistons’ lead guard, from injury mean for the logjam in the backcourt on the roster?

There is a nice mix of veterans with Monte Morris and Alec Burks, and youngsters Jaden Ivey, Killian Hayes and Marcus Sasser.

Both Burks and Morris provide savvy and experience. Burks shot 41.4% from beyond the 3-point line last season, averaging 12.8 points per game. His role off the bench won’t change.


Pistons guard Cade Cunningham undergoes season-ending surgery

Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham underwent surgery on Friday, December 16 to stabilize and promote complete healing of a left tibial stress fracture.

The surgery was performed by Dr. David Porter and Dr. Mark Ritter of Forte Sports Medicine and Orthopedics (Carmel, IN) in consultation with team orthopedic surgeon Dr. Bill Moutzouros of Henry Ford Health, who was also present.

The 6-foot-6 guard is expected to miss the remainder of the season with doctors anticipating a recovery and return to full basketball activities this offseason.

Per the Detroit Free Press, “the 2021 No. 1 overall pick was initially shut down for five games after Nov. 9 for what the team characterized as “shin soreness,” but there was suspicion a stress fracture was the cause of the underlying soreness Cunningham had been dealing with for an extended period of time. He averaged 19.9 points on poor efficiency (41.5% on field goals, 27.9% on 3-pointers) with 6.2 rebounds and six assists a game in 12 appearances this season.”

Pistons guard Cade Cunningham to undergo season-ending surgery

Via the Detroit Free Press:

Cade Cunningham made the right decision for himself and for the Detroit Pistons. But that doesn’t mean it was an easy decision.

Cunningham, who will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a stress fracture in his left shin later this week, took a few weeks to make the biggest decision of his young NBA career. He had been dealing with shin soreness off and on since at least last season, but the team didn’t suspect there was a more severe cause until it flared up again toward the start of this season. There was a chance his shin would’ve healed after an extended period of rest, but surgery should ultimately fix the issue for good.

Cunningham will miss the rest of the season. His final game came Nov. 9, and he only played in 12 games before the team decided to shut him down. It’s an unfortunate development for a rebuilding Pistons team that expected to be better this season, with Cunningham, the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2021, leading the way. While they don’t anticipate Cunningham’s surgery negatively impacting their rebuild long term, they will have to navigate the near future without him.


Raptors’ Scottie Barnes wins 2021-22 NBA Rookie of the Year award

The Toronto Raptors announced on Saturday that swingman Scottie Barnes has been named NBA Rookie of the Year for the 2021-22 season. Barnes joins Vince Carter (1998-99) and Damon Stoudamire as the third player in franchise history to earn the honor.

Barnes was selected fourth overall by the Raptors in the 2021 NBA Draft (1995-96).

“We are incredibly proud of Scottie, and are thrilled and grateful that his hard work has been recognized with this honour,” Toronto Raptors Vice-Chairman and President Masai Ujiri said. “What you see on the court is exactly who Scottie is: enthusiastic. Joyful. Athletic. Skilled, and a winner. We – and our fans – loved seeing his development through this season, and we can’t wait to see what the future brings.”

Barnes received 378 points (48 first-place votes) from a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters. Cleveland Cavaliers forward-center Evan Mobley finished in second place with 363 points (43 first-place votes). The 15-point difference between the first- and second-place finishers marks the smallest margin in NBA Rookie of the Year balloting under the current voting format, which began with the 2002-03 season.

Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham finished in third place with 153 points (nine first-place votes). Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote.

Barnes averaged 15.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.08 steals, 0.74 blocks, and 35.4 minutes per game (first among all rookies) in 74 games (all starts) this season, and was the only rookie to rank in the top five in scoring, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. He scored 20 points or more 17 times and had 13 double-doubles while shooting.492 (459-932). In ten games, Barnes led the club in scoring, rebounds 21 times, and assists 15 times.

Barnes, a native of West Palm Beach, Florida, was voted Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month twice (in February and March/April) and competed in the NBA All-Star Rising Stars and Taco Bell Skills Challenge. He became the first Raptors rookie – and the only rookie in the NBA this season – to score 1000 points, 500 rebounds, and dish out 250 assists in their rookie season. Barnes was also the first rookie to average 15.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists since Luka Doncic (2018-19).

Barnes’ year was highlighted by season highs of 31 points (14-21 FG, 1-4 3PT, 2-2 FT) and 17 rebounds against the Los Angeles Lakers on Mar. 18. In a road win against Denver on Mar. 12, he scored 25 points and had a season-high 10 assists. Barnes equaled a season high with 28 points, 16 rebounds, and five thefts against the Brooklyn Nets on Feb. 28, becoming the only rookie since Shaquille O’Neal (1993) to score at least 25 points, 15 rebounds, and five steals in the same game.

On the development of Pistons rookie Cade Cunningham

Here’s the Detroit News on the development of Pistons rookie Cade Cunningham, who was the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA draft, who recently made an NBA debut that was slightly delayed due to injury:

After making his debut in Saturday’s win over the Orlando Magic, Cunningham sat for Sunday’s loss at Brooklyn.

Coach Dwane Casey has cycled through his reserve options in the other five games, giving Frank Jackson and Josh Jackson two starts each, with Hamidou Diallo starting Sunday. It’s been mixed results thus far. Josh Jackson had 18 and seven points in his two starts, Frank Jackson five and seven in his two games as a starter and Diallo six points in his one start.

The Pistons will need more production at shooting guard, even from Cunningham, who had just two points in his opportunity. Cunningham rested Sunday on the second night of a back-to-back, which could become the norm, at least in the short term, as he recovers from his ankle injury.

Injury update on Pistons rookie Cade Cunningham

It’ll be great to see Pistons rookie Cade Cunningham make his NBA debut. But at this particular minute, there’s no firm date just yet. Via the Detroit Free Press:

Cade Cunningham is nearing his return after suffering a left ankle sprain early in training camp. But nearly a month after the injury, it isn’t clear when the No. 1 pick will return.

Cunningham, the Detroit Pistons’ No. 1 pick in the 2021 draft, could make his NBA debut Saturday night at home against the Orlando Magic, but the Pistons haven’t set a firm timeline on when Cunningham will return from his injury. Last week, general manager Troy Weaver said the hope was to see Cunningham play when the Pistons returned home from their three-game road trip.