Eastern Notes: Cunningham, Pistons, Okoro, Hawks, Magic

Cade Cunningham is eligible for a rookie scale extension this offseason. James L. Edwards III of The Athletic expects the Pistons guard to receive a maximum-salary deal, he states in a mailbag.

“I’m 99.9 percent sure that Cunningham gets an extension this offseason,” Edwards writes. “I don’t want to say 100 percent because you never know what can happen, but I’d be stunned if the 2021 No. 1 overall pick doesn’t sign a max rookie extension.”

As Edwards outlines, Cunningham improved his averages across the board in his third season and was one of the team’s few bright spots amid another last-place finish which saw Detroit go just 14-68 and break an NBA record by losing 28 consecutive games.

Edwards also answers questions about veteran players who could be attainable for cheap due to their contracts, and Trajan Langdon‘s top priority for Detroit’s roster, among others.

Here’s more from around the East:

  • On the Wine and Gold Talk podcast, Ethan Sands and Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com discussed the upcoming restricted free agency of Cavaliers wing Isaac Okoro. While the 23-year-old is a stout defender and made strides with his shot during the regular season (a career-high 39.1% on three-pointers), Okoro also struggled offensively in the playoffs. Sands and Fedor suggest the Cavs could be open to giving Okoro a deal up to the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, but might not go beyond that due to future cap concerns.
  • With just 3% odds, Atlanta won the draft lottery and the rights to the No. 1 overall pick. Simply drafting a player and going about business as usual isn’t enough for the Hawks, according to Mark Bradley of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, who argues the team needs a drastic overhaul this season, particularly trading either Trae Young or Dejounte Murray.
  • Keith Smith of Spotrac previews the Magic‘s offseason, writing that while Orlando will have plenty of cap room this summer, the team will also have to spend that money wisely, as impending rookie scale extensions will complicate the club’s financial outlook in 2025/26 and beyond.
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