Rockets: 2 reasons why Cade Cunningham is worth tanking for

Cade Cunningham #1 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Cade Cunningham #1 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Cade Cunningham #1 of Montverde Academy (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Cade Cunningham #1 of Montverde Academy (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Houston Rockets fans have been divided on whether the best option for the franchise is to simply tank or try to remain competitive. The fanbase has been much more unified on the desire for the Rockets to land a top draft pick, as the Rockets need to add young talent.

Unfortunately, tanking doesn’t guarantee the Rockets a top-four pick, as they don’t have control over their own draft pick this year. As a result of the Chris Paul/Russell Westbrook swap in 2019, the Rockets are only able to retain their draft pick if it lands in the top four.

Otherwise, the Oklahoma City Thunder will maintain the right to swap it with Miami’s first-round pick. And ensuring that the Houston Rockets’ pick falls within the top 4 is not as simple as it seems.

2 reasons why the Houston Rockets should tank for Cade Cunningham

Due to new lottery rules, even the three worst teams in the league only have a 52.1 percent chance of landing in the top four. So even if the Rockets truly bottom out, there is no guarantee that they will retain their pick.

But there is enough doom and gloom associated with the team as it is, so let’s think optimistically and say that hypothetically the Rockets do in fact land in the top four. In that case, they will have a multitude of strong prospects for the choosing.

After all, the 2021 draft class projects to be one of the strongest, at least in terms of high-end talent, in recent memory. Although this year’s class is loaded with talent, Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham stands out, for several reasons.

With that in mind, let’s look at two reasons why Cunningham is worth tanking for.

Next: No. 2