From 2012-2014, Dante Cunningham suited up for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Four years later, will he find himself back in the Twin Cities?
It has been rumored that the Wolves are interested in bringing 31-year-old Dante Cunningham back to Minnesota, where he played for two seasons several years ago.
It remains to be seen whether or not the recent addition of another former Timberwolves forward, Anthony Tolliver, would impact a potential Cunningham acquisition, but if the price is right, Cunningham would surely still be an option as he’s a very different player than Tolliver.
During the 2017-18 season, Cunningham averaged 21.4 minutes per game while spending time with the New Orleans Pelicans and Brooklyn Nets last season. He scored 5.7 points per game while shooting 45.1 percent from the field and 34.5 percent from three. He also grabbed 4.1 boards per game, dished 0.7 assists per game and 0.5 steals per game.
Obviously, those numbers aren’t eye popping. But Cunningham is the type of player who knows his role and executes on a nightly basis.
Of course, the Wolves don’t have a lot of money to spend in this free agency period, so it’s vital that they find low-cost, high-impact players. In Cunningham, that’s exactly what they’ll get.
First and foremost, he’s a solid veteran. He can do a little bit of everything and anything that is needed from him, including being scrappy on the defensive end with good ball awareness.
The way Cunningham plays should be what the Wolves are looking for: a solid bench player who will give 20 solid minutes a night.
Cunningham would also serve as another excellent leader for the two budding stars in Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. And Cunningham wouldn’t only lead by his play on the court, but he’s also a stable locker room presence.
The two biggest areas of needs the Wolves need to cover is defense and 3-point shooting. Defensively, Cunningham bring little to no concerns. He’s very athletic and has a knack for anticipating passes.
With his solid athleticism and size, Cunningham can match-up with multiple positions. While he’s no defensive star, he gets the job done.
However, things get tricky when analyzing exactly what kind of a 3-point threat Cunningham is.
From 2009-15, Cunningham put up 10 or more threes juts twice. However, in his past three seasons, since he has put up over 150 threes in each campaign. His 3-point percentage over the past three seasons has been 35.1 percent, including 37 percent from the corners during that time.
Cunningham, of course, isn’t much of a playmaker; over his career he as averaged just 0.7 assists per game. Then again, Cunningham isn’t someone who posses the ball a lot throughout a given offensive set, as he’s a more catch-and-shoot type of player. Therefore, don’t let his assist total fool you. It’s not his style.
Overall, Cunningham would be a good veteran addition. He could be well within the Wolves budget depending on how the market shakes out and can still be productive off the bench.
Although fans want to see superstars come to town, Cunningham would be a nice addition to the Wolves bench.