Central Notes: Cunningham, Weaver, Toppin, Walker

A lot of things have gone wrong for the Pistons this season but there’s at least one promising development: Cade Cunningham is playing like an All-Star, James Edwards III of The Athletic writes.

Cunningham, who is eligible for a rookie scale extension this offseason, is averaging 25.8 points, 7.9 assists and 5.8 rebounds per game since the All-Star break while shooting 47.6% from 3-point attempts. The Pistons combo guard has become a legitimate three-level scorer, Edwards notes, and has particularly been on the mark as a pull-up 3-point shooter over his last nine games.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Pistons general manager Troy Weaver had a verbal exchange with a heckler in the stands during Saturday’s loss to Dallas and Edwards reports that the fan had been pestering Weaver in the build-up to what was captured on video. Weaver ignored the fan’s comments when he approached Weaver the first time. The second time, Weaver said something along the lines of, “I don’t come to your work and harass you.” The heated exchange, which was partially captured on video by another fan, showed the fan’s third time at provoking Weaver, according to Edwards.
  • Obi Toppin, who is headed to restricted free agency this offseason, has continued to be productive coming off the bench after the Pacers acquired Pascal Siakam to take his starting spot, Dustin Dopirak of the Indianapolis Star writes. Toppin contributed 17 points in a win over Orlando on Sunday and has generally delivered offensively by finishing at the rim and making enough 3-pointers to keep opponents honest. “The guy gets out and runs better than anyone I’ve ever seen. He creates so much energy and disadvantages for the other team,” guard T.J. McConnell said.
  • With Bennedict Mathurin out for the season due to a torn labrum in his right shoulder, rookie Jarace Walker has a path to steady playing time, Dopirak notes. The Pacers have a need for another wing on the second unit. “Jarace can play 3 and 4,” coach Rick Carlisle said. Walker has appeared in 23 games, averaging 9.9 minutes in those outings.
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