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Detroit Pistons rookie Cade Cunningham misses opener, could be out more than a week

Vincent Frank
Detroit-Pistons-Cade-Cunningham
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Rookie No. 1 pick Cade Cunningham of the Detroit Pistons was not in the lineup as they opened their season against the Chicago Bulls Wednesday evening.

Cunningham has been plagued by a minor ankle sprain that he sustained early in training camp. The 20-year-old guard missed all four of Detroit’s preseason games.

Pistons general manager Troy Weaver said prior to Wednesday’s game that Cunningham may miss the team’s upcoming three-game road trip to Chicago, Atlanta and Philadelphia. That would put Cunningham in line to make his NBA debut at home on Oct. 30 against the Orlando Magic.

“He’s pretty much day-to-day, but we need to ramp him up and get some conditioning going and get him acclimated to going full speed in 5-on-5,” Weaver said. “Hopefully, we’ll get him back sooner than later, but I would anticipate hopefully seeing him when we get back off the road.”

Cunningham averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists last season at Oklahoma State. He won Big 12 Player of the Year honors during his lone season with the Cowboys, leading the team in scoring, assists, steals (43) and three-point baskets (62).

Related: Find out where Cade Cunningham stands in our NBA Rookie of the Year rankings

The Detroit Pistons plan on taking it slow with their franchise cornerstone. Missing a few games early in the season shouldn’t set Cade Cunningham back too much.

With Cunningham sidelined, veteran Frank Jackson got the start next to 2020 lottery pick Killian Hayes. He scored seven points on 3-of-7 shooting in the first half, helping Detroit to a 44-40 lead over the favored Bulls at the intermission.

(Field Level Media contributed to this report)