Lottery odds or Rookie of the 12 months for Cade Cunningham?

The Detroit Pistons as soon as once more discover themselves a race to the underside of the NBA because the season winds down. The distinction this season is that they’ve Cade Cunningham.

Detroit is clinging to the third-worst document within the NBA, however are actually only a half recreation behind the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder after beating them in Tankapalooza 2022, and are simply three video games behind the Indiana Pacers, who’ve misplaced six in a row and would like to tank out to enhance their odds.

With simply 4 video games remaining (three of that are in opposition to playoff groups) it’s unlikely that the Pistons will catch the Pacers, however OKC is working out one of the shameless tank lineups I’ve ever seen, so it wouldn’t be stunning in the event that they didn’t win one other recreation, which may put the Pistons top-3 odds in jeopardy.

This is the reason you noticed Cade Cunningham sit after solely six minutes within the final recreation, and why he in all probability gained’t play tonight in opposition to the Pacers in a recreation the Pistons would like to lose.

Nonetheless, sitting Cade Cunningham down the stretch isn’t going to assist his Rookie of the 12 months marketing campaign, so the query is whether or not Detroit ought to care.

Detroit Pistons: Cade Cunningham’s case for Rookie of the 12 months

Cade Cunningham has arguably been enjoying higher than any rookie down the stretch, as Evan Mobley has been out with harm, and Cade is placing up higher stats than Scottie Barnes despite the fact that Barnes’ Raptors are crimson scorching and headed to the playoffs.

You can also make a stable argument for all three of them and will in all probability throw Franz Wagner and Jalen Inexperienced into the combo as nicely.

This rookie class has been superb and we have now one of many tightest Rookie of the 12 months races in years.

It’s so shut that sitting Cade Cunningham down the stretch could possibly be the distinction in him profitable Rookie of the 12 months or not.

For many voters, it in all probability gained’t make a distinction, however there are a couple of that may have been swayed by a robust end to the season by Cade.

Sitting out a few video games in all probability gained’t matter, however it may’t assist, as his resume would look rather a lot higher if he completed with a string of 25+ level video games.

If the Detroit Pistons determine to sit down Cade tonight and even longer, they’re making it clear the place their priorities are and I can’t blame them.

In the long run, Cade Cunningham is a crew participant and would in all probability choose including a man like Paolo Banchero than profitable the Rookie of the 12 months, and if sitting him helps that trigger, I’m positive he’ll chunk his lip, sit on the bench, and assist his crew safe higher lottery odds.

I hope he no less than performs within the remaining three video games in opposition to the Bucks, Mavericks and 76ers, video games the Pistons usually are not anticipated to win, in order that he no less than has some remaining possibilities so as to add to his Rookie of the 12 months resume.

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