I like Cade. Just want to say that out front. He was obviously the best pick, and he'll be a solid pro. But there are 3 nagging things that are bugging me about this season, that I can't be the only one that is annoyed by this.
1. You don't put on 10 pounds of muscle in the offseason. I didn't buy it when Austin Daye did it, and I'm not buying it with Cade either. If you look bigger after 3 or so months of summer you can say they gained 'weight'. You don't know how much of the weight gain is muscle, but fat was probably added as well. Muscle or fat, he's playing at a higher weight. The consequences of playing at a higher weight seem to have some immediate consequences. Those would be...
2. Lack of burst and over-dependence on 3's. Is it just me here? Doesn't it seem like Cade isn't moving as fluidly as he was when he got by people with his handles this year? Remember how bouncy he was in all of those Cade Cunningham Crossover Highlights from last year? (try clicking each of the links if you forgot). I was hoping for more of that this year, and now we have more 3-point attempts. Over the last ten games of the year Cade averaged 3.8 3PA and so far over this season he's averaging 6.7. It seems like he's settling more. Maybe I'm wrong. If he's going to be able to affect the game, he's going to need to score in the paint off the dribble, or at minimum be a threat in that regards. I'd think that would be a good goal for the year.
3. Lastly, Isn't a complaint for Cade, but how he's talked about. I think it would be easier to cheer for Cade if he was just a second year player working on his offense . Early quotes from Casey and other writers sound as though Cade Cunningham's main skill is 'Leadership'. These pieces sound like they are describing Captain America on the Avengers, his main skill is being able to see the big picture and guide people to victory. Cap was able to lean on winning World War II, but Cade hasn't been exactly racking up victories so far in his career. This is unfair set of expectations. The lack of W's are outside of his control, and I just wish that more of the conversation around him was more about his scoring, and playmaking and all the other stuff, and not that he is a magical franchise-fixing superhero.