Cade Cunningham is the best NBA rookie according to the ESPN rankings

Cade Cunningham is the best rookie in the NBA according to a metric.

Despite being No. 1 last season and leading first-year players in several categories, Cunningham is considered a long chance to win the award as NBA Rookie of the Year. And that may be due to a cold start to the season and the Detroit Pistons’ games.

While Scottie Barnes and Evan Mobley had critical – though not leading – roles for teams tied for the playoffs, Cunningham starred in a Pistons outfit that, as expected, spent much of the season in the Eastern Conference basement.

But who would you rather start a franchise with?

[ Pistons’ Cade Cunningham won’t rest this offseason. He plans to reach ‘next level’ ]

ESPN’s Bobby Marks, Kevin Pelton and Mike Schmitz ranked the 25 best NBA players under 25, and Cunningham topped all rookies while finishing as No. 6 overall. The rankings are based on past season and future potential and are an average of each analyst’s ballot.

To no surprise, Cunningham fell behind All-Stars like Jayson Tatum and Luka Doncic, however each of the panelists had Cunningham as the best rookie. Schmitz had him highest of any, as No. 4 – over players like Trae Young, Zion Williamson and LaMelo Ball. Marks placed him in sixth place and Pelton as number 11.

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