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Cade Cunningham confident Pistons can help his long-term development

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Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham stated previously that he wanted to join a team that would prioritize his development on and off the court, and the projected No. 1 overall pick feels as though the Detroit Pistons are the right team to accomplish that goal.

Of course, the Pistons are widely expected to select Cunningham first in the NBA draft on Thursday after landing the top pick last month. Detroit is the only team Cunningham has met with and the 19-year-old does not anticipate meeting with any other organizations.

He said Friday the meeting with Detroit is the only one he needs to take.

I wanted to meet with the team that had the No. 1 pick because I feel like I’m the No. 1 pick. I met with Detroit, they are the ones that have the pick. If the Rockets go get the No. 1 pick, maybe I’ll go and meet with them if there is enough time. That’s just the way that we went into it. I feel like I prepared myself to be in this position so I’m going to stick with it and I’m happy to see where I go.

Cunningham visited Detroit earlier this week to meet with the front office and coaching staff. After visiting the team facility, Cunningham attended the Tigers game with head coach Dwane Casey and guard Saddiq Bey as they hosted the Texas Rangers.

The Pistons’ roster last season featured three first-round picks, with several other young players logging significant playing time. The group is in a rebuilding situation and allowed its players the luxury of playing through mistakes on the court, which enabled them to grow.

The season resulted in Bey earning NBA All-Rookie first-team honors while center Isaiah Stewart was named to the second team. The two players, plus Killian Hayes, figure to give the Pistons a strong foundation to build around, and selecting Cunningham would only add to that core.

The growth of Bey and Stewart caught the attention of Cunningham.

Isaiah Stewart and Saddiq Bey were both All-Rookie team (players). I feel like that is a direct correlation of what that staff is doing with their players and the amount of time they have put into development. That’s a good indication in itself and is something I like to see — both of those guys were rookies. The young core, obviously, they didn’t have the season they wanted to last year but there are a lot of things to build off of. I learned a lot on my visit and just doing research after the lottery.

The pairing between Cunningham and the Pistons appears to be imminent and the All-American sounds excited to make the move to the Motor City. He is viewed as a franchise-changing prospect and looks poised to help the Pistons to the next level.

He already enters next season projected to be able to make an immediate impact given his ability on both ends of the floor. With some help from the Pistons, and their development system, Cunningham could make an even bigger jump on the court soon enough.

This post originally appeared on Rookie Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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