Cade Cunningham missed most of last season with a shin injury but it wasn’t a wasted year, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com writes. The top pick of the 2021 draft firmly established himself as a team leader.
“His voice is always in the locker room. His voice is always in our ears,” center Jalen Duren said. “For me, for sure, and (Jaden Ivey) coming in as rookies, he was always giving us advice and walking us through everything. Him not being on the floor, we didn’t lose a step with him in his voice and his appearance. He was always around. That’s just testament to who he is as a person. He’s a guy who just loves to work. He’s a guy who’s a leader at heart. That’s just who he is.”
We have more from the Pistons:
- The front office had additional motivation to sign Isaiah Stewart to a four-year extension, James Edwards III of The Athletic opines. Stewart was part of general manager Troy Weaver’s first draft class with the organization. The team’s lottery pick that year, Killian Hayes, is unlikely to stick around long-term since Weaver has drafted guards Cunningham, Ivey, and Marcus Sasser, along with trading for Monte Morris. The other first-rounder in 2020, Saddiq Bey, was dealt at the trade deadline last February. Optically, it was important for the rebuilding franchise to have something to show for its initial draft class, according to Edwards.
- After serving as the Rockets’ head coach for three seasons during their rebuild, Stephen Silas believes he’s in the right spot as a top assistant to Monty Williams, he told Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “It’s a good situation for me because I can take a lot of the experience that I had with the Rockets and pour it into this situation with these young guys and kind of see stuff before it’s coming after three years,” Silas said. “So it’s kind of good for me, and to work with Monty and the coaching staff and ownership and management, they’re all top-notch. It’s really fun.”
- James Wiseman‘s assertiveness in two Summer League games has been one of the positives for the Pistons in Las Vegas, per Mike Curtis of The Detroit News (subscriber link). Wiseman has been effective both in the post and on perimeter jumpers. Wiseman has averaged 16.5 points in the two games while posting double-doubles both times. He’s eligible for an extension this offseason or else will be eligible for restricted free agency after next season.