Pistons guard Cade Cunningham tops the list of potential breakout candidates for the upcoming season, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. Cunningham, who missed most of last season with a shin injury, dazzled while playing this month for the USA Select Team.
Wizards guard Tyus Jones, who has a chance to start after serving as a backup with the Timberwolves and Grizzlies, and Trail Blazers second-year wing Shaedon Sharpe, who put up big numbers late last season, are among the other players who make Cowley’s list.
We have more news from around the basketball world:
- Cooper Flagg’s decision to reclassify makes a significant impact on the 2025 draft, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN. The 2025 draft wasn’t considered particularly strong, so with Flagg eligible to be taken that season, that group now has more star power. Despite his unorthodox game built around defense and passing, rather than scoring prowess, Flagg is the early favorite to be the top pick of that draft.
- J.P. Macura is signing with Happy Casa Brindisi of Italy, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (Twitter link). Macura made three cameo appearances in the NBA — two games with the Hornets in 2018/19 and one with the Cavaliers the following season. Macura has played the last two seasons in Italy after a one-year stop in Turkey.
- Dwyane Wade, who was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame on Saturday, wasn’t a slam dunk to be selected by the Heat in the lottery in 2003, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel notes. Team president Pat Riley said the club was in need of a big but when Toronto took Chris Bosh, Wade slipped to Miami’s pick at No. 5 overall.