Cade Cunningham was named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for January, the NBA announced. Detroit Pistons’ star guard joins Oklahoma City’s Josh Giddey who was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month.
January certainly felt like a breakout month for the No. 1 overall pick. Cunningham scored a career-high 34 points against the Denver Nuggets. In that same game he did a little of everything — corralling 8 rebounds, dishing 8 assists and blocking 4 shots. No rookie had achieved a statline like that since Michael Jordan. That is always good company to keep.
Cade also became the first Pistons rookie to record multiple triple doubles in a single season.
For the month, Cunningham led all rookies in scoring (17.3 points), and led Eastern Conference rookies in assists (5.6). January also saw the Pistons go 7-9 including comeback wins against the Utah Jazz and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Cunningham was also named to the Rising Stars game that will be held during All-Star weekend. The rookie will be joined in the game by sophomores Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart.
The Rising Stars game, or, excuse me, the NBA Clorox Rising Stars game, will be a little different than in years past. This year, a pool of 28 players made up of rookies, sophomores and four players from the G League Ignite will enter into a player pool.
From there, four teams of seven players will enter a tournament-style play. The first round will be a “first team to score 50 wins” and then a final round will be played to a target score of 25. The cumulative 75 points is to honor the league’s 75th anniversary season.
Cunningham is averaging 16.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.4 assists. Bey is averaging 15.6 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.5 assists. Stewart is averaging 7.9 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game.