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Cade Cunningham’s Season Ending With Detroit Pistons due to Shin Injury

Cunningham’s season ends after only 12 games.

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Jackson Lavarn

After a month on the shelf recovering from a shin injury, former OSU star and 2021 No. 1 pick Cade Cunningham’s season will officially come to an end after just 12 games. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday that Cunningham will undergo surgery on his injured left shin that will effectively end his season.

Cunningham played in only 12 games, last appearing on Nov. 9 against the Boston Celtics. He was averaging 19.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game for the Pistons, all of which were career-highs for him after averaging 17.4 points, 5.6 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game a season ago as a rookie.

Cunningham is second among all 2021 NBA Draft picks in points per game (17.8) and assists (5.6) in his young career, already proving to be one of the most valuable two-way assets in the NBA because of his scoring and creation ability.

Shutting him down makes sense both for Cunningham’s long-term trajectory and for the team, which is 7-22 and dead last in the Eastern Conference standings. With him sidelined, it should allow for Detroit to, ahem, productively struggle (think: tank!) for the No. 1 pick in 2023, which has a prize of Victor Wembanyma at the top.

Detroit has surrounded Cunningham with fun assets for the future including super-leaper Jalen Duren and super-athlete Jaden Ivey who look like building blocks for the future. Their development with this news could be further prioritized with Cunningham being shut down, as the team eyes a more balanced and complete roster to surround him with as he returns for the 2023-24 season.

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