"Rebound by one of the big guys... Divac, I think... Hands off to one of the little guards... The big guy with the beard passes off to the little lefty... Boy, I'm having trouble with these names."- Johnny Most
Pick 24: Dallas, now picking here post-Zeller trade, takes Jared Cunningham from Oregon State, giving an old team a fresh set of athletic young legs. If they do turn over their backcourt, lose Vince and the Jasons, and bring in Deron Williams, then he, Cunningham, Roddy Boobwar and Dominique Jones will make an exciting, dynamic and good backcourt. But if Cunningham alone is asked to push the tempo, it might be a little difference. Who else will run with him? Shawn Marion and....Brian Cardinal?
Cunningham was pawned off to Atlanta by Dallas at the start of the offseason for cap space reasons after a rookie season at which he rather underwhelmed even at the D-League level. Atlanta has young guard prospects of its own in John Jenkins and Dennis Schroeder; they, along with the incumbent Jeff Teague and the returning Lou Williams, figure to take the vast majority of the guard minutes. Cunningham, then, will likely have little opportunity to improve on what went before, and what went before was not much.
Atlanta - Jared Cunningham: After having his third season option declined, and assigned twice to the Bakersfield Jam already, Cunningham is playing for his place in the NBA. On the most cursory of looks, his 17.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg and 4.7 apg averages look solid. But when considered alongside the 36% shooting and the 4.1 turnovers per game average, they are made to look irrelevant. Cunningham is a weapon in transition, but he is also only a weapon in transition, and he needs significant improves urgently.
Note: Non-US teams that the player
has played for are, unless stated otherwise, from the top division in
that nation. If a league or division name is expressly stated, it's not
the top division. The only exceptions to this are the rare occasions where
no one league is said to be above the other, such as with the JBL/BJ League
split in Japan.