IS CADE CUNNINGHAM THE BEST SHOOTER IN THE 2021 NBA DRAFT?

Some people are going to think I'm crazy or out of my mind for this article. Others are going to think this is simply click bait to draw attention to my website. Both are totally false lol..

I am here to make a case for Cade Cunningham to be recognized as the best shooter in the 2021 NBA Draft class.

 

Six months ago, I believed Cade was going to be the best NBA prospect in college basketball despite their being some small concerns about his outside shooting.

 

Any questions or concerns about Cade's jumper were put to rest after a phenomenal freshman season that lived up all the hype that had been surrounding him after a dominant 2019 summer on the AAU circuit and at the 2019 FIBA Under 19 World Cup in Greece.

Let me explain and use the numbers to support why Cade is arguably the best shooter in this highly regarded draft class. Cade averaged 20.1 points per game while shooting 43.8% from the floor and 40% from deep. If you take a deep dive into his 3 point shooting percentage, you'll see was efficient on a high volume of attempts per game (5.7) while taking a good percentage of highly contested attempts off the dribble. 

54.8% of his 3 point attempts were unassisted, so his shot chart is full of difficult step back 3's where he had to create something out of nothing late in the shot clock.

Gonzaga's Corey Kispert is widely regarded as the top shooter among first round prospects, but if you look at the numbers, Cade's shooting splits are comparable, if not better. Kispert shot a ridiculous 44% from deep and at one point looked like he was on pace for a 50/50/90 season, before he cooled off later in the season. 90% of his 3 point attempts were assisted and he greatly benefited from the gravity of sharing the floor with Jalen Suggs and Drew Timme. 

Quietly, Cade ranked in the top 90 percentile in college basketball on catch and shoot opportunities and averaged 1.298 points per possession. He connected on a blistering 47.1% of contested catch and shoot jumpers which ranked in the top 95 percentile in the nation. When left unguarded his percentage strangely dropped to 39.1% which brought his overall catch and shoot percentage to 43.9%

In comparison, Kispert converted on 40.8% of his catch and shoot opportunities for 1.211 points per possession. According to Synergysportstech.com, Kispert made 32.9% of his catch and shoot jumpers when guarded and when left open, Kispert drained 48.7% of his attempts.

Kispert was deadly off the dribble, which mostly consisted of 1 or 2 dribble escape jumpers, knocking down 43.3% of his shots on 30 attempts.

On paper, Cade was not as accurate on jumpers off the dribble (33.1%) as Kispert, but he attempted 118 more shots off the bounce with a much higher degree of difficulty.

Both Cunningham and Kispert ranked among the top shooters in the nation and as I mentioned prior, Kispert is widely regarded as the best shooter. However, it seems that Cade's all around brilliance has overshadowed the work he put in to improve as a shooter.

Rafael Barlowe

DAYS UNTIL 2020 NBA DRAFT 

LOCKED ON NBA DRAFT PODCAST

Check me out every Mon & Thurs on the LockedOn NBA Draft Podcast on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts..

Evan Mobley - USC

Jalen Green & Jonathan Kuminga - G-League

2021 NBA DRAFT JUNKIES MOCK DRAFT

LOTTERY ORDER BASED ON TANKATHON.COM LOTTERY SIMULATER ON APRIL 14, 2021

CADE CUNNINGHAM TO MOTOWN

CADE CUNNINGHAM  | PG | OKLAHOMA STATE

| FRESHMAN | 6'8" 220 LBS

EVAN MOBLEY  | C | USC

| FRESHMAN | 7'0" 210 LBS

JALEN SUGGS | PG | GONZAGA

| FRESHMAN | 6'4" 205 LBS

JALEN GREEN  | SG | G-LEAGUE IGNITE

| 6'8" 210 LBS

JONATHAN KUMINGA  | SF  | G-LEAGUE IGNITE

| 6'8" 210 LBS

SCOTTIE BARNES  | PF |  FLORIDA STATE

| FRESHMAN | 6'9" 225 LBS

KEON JOHNSON  | SG | TENNESSEE

| FRESHMAN | 6'5" 185 LBS

ALPEREN SENGÜN  | C  | BESIKTAS

| TURKEY | 6'10" 240 LBS

JALEN JOHNSON  | PF | DUKE

| FRESHMAN | 6'9" 225 LBS

MOSES MOODY  | SG | ARKANSAS

| FRESHMAN | 6'6" 205 LBS

ISAIAH JACKSON  | C | KENTUCKY

| FRESHMAN | 6'10" 206 LBS

JAMES BOUKNIGHT  | SG | UCONN

| SOPHOMORE | 6'5" 190 LBS

DAVION MITCHELL  | SG | BAYLOR

| JUNIOR | 6'9" 185 LBS

USMAN GARUBA  | PF | REAL MADRID

| SPAIN | 6'8" 230 LBS

JADEN SPRINGER  | PG | TENNESSEE

| FRESHMAN | 6'4" 205 LBS

FRANZ WAGNER  | SF | MICHIGAN

| SOPHOMORE | 6'8" 205 LBS

KAI JONES  | PF | TEXAS

| SOPHOMORE | 6'11" 220 LBS

COREY KISPERT  | SF | GONZAGA

| SENIOR | 6'7" 220 LBS

GREG BROWN  | PF | TEXAS

| FRESHMAN | 6'9" 205 LBS

Jalen Suggs - Gonzaga

RECENTLY ADDED PROFILES

LUKA GARZA  | SENIOR | CENTER | IOWA

DALANO BANTON | SOPH | POINT GUARD | NEBRASKA

JAMES BOUKNIGHT | SOPH | SHOOTING GUARD | UCONN

JASON PRESTON | JUNIOR | POINT GUARD | OHIO

DREW TIMME | SOPH | CENTER | GONZAGA

TERRENCE SHANNON, JR | SOPH | TEXAS TECH

EVAN MOBLEY | FRESHMAN | CENTER | USC

JALEN SUGGS | FRESHMAN | POINT GUARD | GONZAGA

TRE MANN  | PG | FLORIDA

| SOPHOMORE | 6'5" 190 LBS

JOSH GIDDEY  | PG | ADELAIDE 36ERS

| AUSTRALIA | 6'8" 205 LBS

SHARIFE COOPER  | PG | AUBURN

| FRESHMAN | 6'1" 180 LBS

ZIAIRE WILLIAMS | SF | STANFORD

| FRESHMAN | 6'8" 185 LBS

CAMERON THOMAS  | SG | LSU

| FRESHMAN | 6'4" 210 LBS

BJ BOSTON  | SG | KENTUCKY

| FRESHMAN | 6'6" 185 LBS

JOSH CHRISTOPHER  | SG | ARIZONA STATE

| FRESHMAN | 6'6" 215 LBS

JARED BUTLER  | PG | BAYLOR

| JUNIOR | 6'3" 190 LBS

MARCUS BAGLEY  | PF | ARIZONA STATE

| FRESHMAN | 6'8" 215 LBS

ROKO PRKACIN  | PF | CIBONA

| CROATIA | 6'9" 210 LBS

CHRIS DUARTE  | SG | OREGON

| SENIOR | 6'6" 190 LBS

LATEST VIDEOS

LOCKED ON NBA DRAFT VIDEOS

FRESHMAN ADJUSTMENT SERIES

2021 NBA DRAFT PROSPECTS SCOUTING REPORTS

INTERNATIONAL PROSPECTS