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Dave Bing: Cade Cunningham All-Star-caliber player but ‘not a guy you build your team around’

A Detroit Hall of Famer throws some shade at Cade Cunningham

Detroit Pistons School Partnership Photo by Allen Einstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Hall of Fame Detroit Pistons guard Dave Bing knows greatness when he sees it, and apparently, he doesn’t think Cade Cunningham “is that guy,” as the kids say. Bing was on the Pistons broadcast where he was asked to opine about the young and struggling Detroit Pistons, and the legend couldn’t help but throw some shade at the No. 1 overall pick even as he attempted to be complimentary of his game.

It pains me to put Bing through the aggregation grinder, and there’s nothing wrong with being an All-Star-caliber player. But it’s notable when a respected icon of your organization basically says you’re not worth building a team around.

Cunningham’s shooting woes were worrisome, Bing said. And it seems like iffy first impressions are a tough thing to shake because even as Cunningham has looked much more the part of the No. 1 overall selection in recent weeks, Bing was unflinching in his hot takery. he said that while Cunningham is All-Star caliber, he is not a player “you build your team around” and that the Pistons are still in search of that franchise-altering talent.

He also had some spare shade to throw Killian Hayes’ becoming collateral damage in the Cade criticism, or perhaps it was vice versa. The backcourt is the team’s biggest weakness, Bing said, and “We got to get a good point guard.” Ouch.

Here is Bing’s full statement during the broadcast:

I think he’s starting to come into his own right now. I was worried about him early on in terms of his shooting, but he’s been playing very, very well. So I think he’s going to be an All-Star-caliber player. I don’t think he’s a guy you build your team around. We still got to get that guy. We don’t have it yet, in my opinion. I also think our weakness is our backcourt. We got to get a good point guard.

Hayes skepticism is common and largely warranted as he’s struggled to showcase an NBA-level offensive game in his first 40-plus games. Hayes missed most his rookie year to injury, and he’s looked better this year but he’s still a light-scoring point guard who often doesn’t finish games.

The Cunningham case could be spot on, but he’s only 20 games into his NBA career, so we’ll hold off on any grand proclamations of his ceiling just yet.

In his last six games, Cunningham is averaging 20.8 points per game and shooting 45% from the floor and 46% from three while hitting 81% of his free throws. He’s struggling in most phases, as all rookies do, and he has some concern areas — particularly his lack of getting to the line and his turnovers — but he is clearly an extremely gifted player on both ends of the floor.

It looks like there’s one more skeptic Cunningham will have to win over, and it comes in his own backyard. With the Pistons missing Jerami for the next six weeks at least, this is certainly Cunningham’s offense to control. We’ll see what he can do to win a Hall of Fame Piston over to his side.