Cade Cunningham inks 5-year, $224 million max extension with Pistons: Sources

The Detroit Pistons and Cade Cunningham have agreed on a five-year, $224 million maximum rookie extension, making Cunningham the highest-paid player in franchise history, league and team sources confirmed to The Athletic on Tuesday.

Cunningham, the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, has been one of the few bright spots for an organization that has spent the last few years in the cellar of the Eastern Conference.

The 22-year-old guard missed all but 12 games due to a shin injury and surgery in 2022-23 but returned in his third year to improve immensely across the board despite playing on a 14-win team that wasn’t necessarily suited to his strengths.

The team has made moves to beef up its roster this offseason, including bringing back forward Tobias Harris, acquiring Tim Hardaway Jr. and Malik Beasley, and hiring coach J.B. Bickerstaff.

Last season, Cunningham averaged 22.7 points, 7.5 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game while upping his field-goal percentage to 45 percent and 3-point percentage to 35 percent on 5.4 attempts. Those numbers were on par with the Orlando Magic’s Paolo Banchero, who was named an All-Star.

Cunningham proved he is worth building around for the future with his play this past season and the leadership he’s shown despite playing in a struggling, rebuilding situation.

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(Photo: Nic Antaya / Getty Images)

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