Dante Cunningham Should Be Re-Signed By Minnesota Timberwolves
This season hasn’t yielded many bright spots for the Minnesota Timberwolves. The team was predicted to contend for a playoff berth but injuries to key players derailed those plans early in the season. In a year that has essentially been a wash, one bright spot has been the steady play of forward Dante Cunningham.
Cunningham was originally selected in the second round of the 209 NBA draft by the Portland Trail Blazers after a solid four-year career at Villanova. He wasn’t around long with the Trail Blazers before they dealt him to the Charlotte Bobcats in his second season as part of a deal for Gerald Wallace. Cunningham was then signed by the Memphis Grizzlies in free agency before again being part of a trade, this time to the Timberwolves. That’s a total of four different teams in his first four seasons, for those keeping count.
It appears as if Cunningham may have found a home with the Timberwolves. The 6’8″ forward’s hustle, motor and Kevin Love‘s injuries have kept Cunningham in the rotation for the majority of the season, and his ability to guard multiple positions will most likely keep him there. Cunningham’s modest averages of 8.1 points and 5.2 rebounds won’t jump off the stat sheet, but he is one of those players who’s value is measured by things that don’t show up in a box score. Cunningham has found himself guarding not only power forwards but also the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, and Kobe Bryant, just to give you an idea of his versatility.
The Timberwolves hold a team option of $2.1 million on Cunningham’s contract, and they would be wise to exercise it. Cunningham should remain a valuable piece to the Timberwolves’ ever-changing puzzle for the foreseeable future.