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Detroit Pistons star Cade Cunningham to undergo season-ending surgery

Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham

The No. 1 pick of the Detroit Pistons back in 2021, Cade Cunningham will enter his third season in the NBA having played in a total of 76 professional games.

Cunningham, 21, has been sidelined since suffering a shin injury back on Nov. 9. After seeing is rest could help him return to action in the month since, the star guard has opted to undergo surgery. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, this will cost Cunningham the remainder of his sophomore season.

In the 12 games he suited up this season, Cunningham was averaging 19.9 points to go with 6.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists on 42% shooting from the field. The league-worst Pistons will now have to go the rest of the way without him.

Related: Sportsnaut’s updated NBA power rankings

Impact of Cade Cunningham’s injury on the Detroit Pistons

cade cunningham injury, detroit pistons
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There’s a lot of different layers to this. First off, it can not be seen as a great thing that Cunningham will end up missing over half of his team’s games in his first two seasons.

Secondly, this is going to have a major impact on the remainder of the Pistons’ season and the 2023 NBA Draft in particular.

Detroit finds itself at 7-22 on the campaign. It currently boasts the Association’s worst record with the likes of the Charlotte Hornets, Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs competing for that ugly mark.

  • Cade Cunningham stats (2021-23): 17.8 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 5.6 APG, 42% shooting, 31% 3-point

With Cunningham out for the duration, Detroit now boasts the best odds to finish with the worst record. It would give the team a fighting chance to land a generational talent in that of France’s Victor Wembanyama atop the 2023 NBA Draft.

Commissioner Adam Silver has warned teams against tanking to improve their draft standing. With that said, there’s nothing he can do about a player injury.

Short-term, Cunningham going down hurts both his progression on the court and the team as a whole. Long-term, it could help expedite their rebuild.

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