Pistons Sign Cade Cunningham To Five-Year Max Extension

JULY 10: Cunningham’s maximum-salary extension is official, the Pistons announced today in a press release.

Cunningham is the third player to sign a max rookie scale extension this offseason, joining Scottie Barnes of the Raptors and Franz Wagner of the Magic.

JULY 9: The Pistons and Cunningham are in agreement on a five-year, maximum-salary rookie scale extension, agents Jeff Schwartz and James Dunleavy tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

Wojnarowski says it’s a $224MM deal that could be worth up to $269MM, which means it will include Rose rule language that could bump the starting salary from 25% of the 2025/26 cap to 30% if Cunningham makes an All-NBA team

JUNE 30: The Pistons intend to sign 2021 No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham to a five-year, rookie scale max extension, sources tell Shams Charania and James L. Edwards III of The Athletic (Twitter link).

The exact value of Cunningham’s extension is currently unknown. If the salary cap rises by 10% in 2025/26, which is when the extension will kick in, it would be worth approximately $224MM.

ESPN’s Bobby Marks hears (via Twitter) that while Detroit and Cunningham have discussed an extension, a deal doesn’t appear to be imminent. However, Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press has sources who say it’s on track to get done. The guard can’t officially sign anything until July 6.

After a promising ’21/22 campaign which saw Cunningham finish third in Rookie of the Year voting, the 22-year-old was limited to just 12 games due to season-ending surgery in ’22/23. Despite the Pistons finishing with the NBA’s worst record in ’23/24, Cunningham had a strong third season, averaging 22.7 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 7.5 APG and 0.9 SPG on .449/.355/.869 shooting in 62 games (33.5 MPG).

Assuming Cunningham’s contract comes to fruition, which seems likely, he would join Raptors forward Scottie Barnes as the second player from the 2021 draft class to agree to a rookie scale extension. The full list of players eligible for rookie scale deals can be found right here.

While Barnes agreed to an extension that features Rose rule language, potentially allowing him to earn 30% of the ’25/26 salary cap instead of 25%, the terms Charania and Edwards reported suggest that Cunningam might not have gotten that offer from Detroit. Either way, it’s a major commitment to the 6’6″ guard, who will earn $13.94MM in ’24/25, which is the final season of his rookie scale contract.

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