Cade Cunningham, the possible No. 1 in the draft compared to Doncic

Their characteristics are similar in addition to being dominating the year before the jump to the NBA. It will be, with a lot of security, number one of the Draft 2021.


As the season progresses, doubts about the next draft enter. It doesn't seem like the case this season, in which Cade Cunningham is making good predictions and stands out so well with Oklahoma State in the NCAA that it seems difficult for anyone to take away his number 1 position. The G-League bubble , where is the new team called Ignite that brings together young people who are one step away from the NBA, it seems the only impediment. There is no competition in Europe and Duke's Jalen Johnson has just walked out the back door in what seems like a decision that will help little to grow his options. Therefore, Cunningham looks at the others over his shoulder.

His position is now indisputable in the mock not only of the United States but of any corner of the world. The chances of us seeing him in the first position grow if one takes into account that he is a player who can be in several positions and who can be adjusted to the needs of any team that falls to the lowest part of the table.

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Cunningham is one of those golden boys who dream of reaching the top of American professionalism. What they call a five-star recruit there. Of the best. Born in Arlington, in the state of Texas, 19 years ago, he trained in Montverde, a private academy in Florida considered the best basketball program has had in the last decade. Pedigree and possible so that you can train in a big way. The best colleges raffled him off and he chose Oklahoma State, where his brother Cannen had been hired as a coach before.

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He's prepared for the big leagues and he knows it. "I've played against a wide variety of NBA players. You can ask them, I guess. I'm comfortable with whoever is my opponent, I'll do well," he says. One of its main qualities is coldness in the hottest moments. "In the last two minutes you know that your time has come," says his colleague Isaac Likekele.

ESPN has published an analysis of Mike Schmitz, one of its experts in young talents, on his figure recently. The journalist, because he knows the story closely, insists on comparing Cade Cunningham with Luka Doncic, which gives more clues about the career of the first seeing what the second does. Taking one of the phrases that caught his attention in the EuroBasket 2017 that Slovenia won ("I feel like I want to be the hero of the match every time I've caught the ball since I started"), more similarities. Cunningham has already made two important shots to win and averages, according to Elias Sports Bureau data, a 47% accuracy in the shots he takes in the last two minutes of his games in the Big 12, his conference. His physical qualities are similar to those of Luka, with the same doubts that were had about his survival in the NBA due to the lack of speed or a super-athletic physique of a still young man who is already in the conversation for being the MVP. "Speed is a great quality to treasure, but Luka knows how to play this. He knows how to take you to his ground and get the positions he wants. He is more difficult to defend than some who are more athletic," Cunningham answers as if he saw himself in the game. mirror. He has studied, among others, Doncic himself and has developed the step back to shoot as one of his destructive weapons. Not a muscle in his face moves, a la Kawhi Leonard, and he boasts of hands and arms as if to take control of everything. He has the ability to generate shots while driving like Khris Middleton, the man in Giannis Antetokounmpo's shadow in Milwaukee. They are names that are deposited on your resume as if it were not pressure that they are plausible comparisons.

He likes the rhythm to conform to what he wants, like the great priests. "Whenever the end of the game comes I try to slow down and be one with the 'tempo' of the game. I think that is what helps me. When there is a lot of pressure, or whatever you want to call it, I see it as an opportunity", aim. "This kid has been making the right plays since he was fourteen," adds his current coach, Mike Boynton.

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