Cunningham (ankle) will not play in Wednesday's season opener against the Bulls. As of Monday, coach Dwane Casey left the door open for Cunningham to potentially make his NBA debut Wednesday, but the Pistons will ultimately exercise caution and hold the No. 1 overall pick out of action as he battles the sprained ankle that sidelined him for the entire preseason. The rookie should be considered day-to-day with the hope that he's able to take the floor for Saturday's rematch against the Bulls in Chicago. Considering Cunningham hasn't taken the floor for a "real" game since Summer League, he may have to shake off some rust whenever he's cleared to debut.
Cunningham (ankle) resumed practicing Monday, but head coach Dwane Casey wouldn't commit to the rookie playing in Wednesday's season opener against the Bulls, James L. Edwards III of The Athletic reports. "When he's healthy, he'll be ready to go," Casey said of the rookie. "The medical people are being cautious, and rightfully so." Cunningham missed the entire preseason with a right ankle sprain, robbing both the Pistons and potential fantasy investors of an early glimpse of how he might fit within the Detroit lineup. Even so, Cunningham appears on track to avoid a lengthy absence to begin his pro career, even if his conditioning isn't quite where it needs to be ahead of Wednesday's opener. If Cunningham is sidelined against Chicago, more minutes could be up for grabs among Josh Jackson, Frank Jackson, Hamidou Diallo and Cory Joseph.
Cunningham (ankle) didn't practice Sunday, but Pistons head coach Dwane Casey said the rookie is still working to play in Wednesday's season opener versus the Bulls, Rod Beard of The Detroit News reports. "He's on course," Casey said of Cunningham. "One thing we're not going to do is rush him back." Cunningham didn't play during the preseason after twisting his ankle in an Oct. 1 practice, but Detroit is apparently not ready to rule the No. 1 overall pick out from making his NBA debut Wednesday. That being said, Cunningham will almost certainly need to practice in some fashion Monday and/or Tuesday to have a realistic shot at playing against the Bulls, and even in that scenario, he could be subject to a minutes restriction.
Cunningham (ankle) has been ruled out for Friday's game against the 76ers. Cunningham doesn't yet have a timetable to return to the court, but he'll be sidelined for the preseason finale. Josh Jackson and Hamidou Diallo are in line for increased run if Cunningham is unavailable for the regular-season opener against the Bulls on Wednesday.
Coach Dwane Casey said Tuesday that the Pistons will take their time with Cunningham (ankle), Omari Sankof of the Detroit Free Press reports. "We're not going to rush Cade back," Casey said. "When he comes back, it doesn't mean we're going to throw him out there and see what happens. He's too valuable for us." The implication is that Cunningham is still not ready to return to full-contact work, so it's safe to rule him out of Wednesday's preseason game against the Knicks. That leaves just one more opportunity (Friday vs. PHI) for the No. 1 overall pick to gain some preseason experience, but at this point Cunningham playing in the exhibition finale seems unlikely. With the regular season just a week away, it's fair to question whether Cunningham could miss a game or two to begin his rookie season.
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