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No. 1 pick Cade Cunningham to miss time after rolling ankle

2021 Rookie Photo Shoot

LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 15: Cade Cunningham #2 of the Detroit Pistons poses for a portrait during 2021 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot on August 15, 2021 at UNLV Campus in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Michael J. LeBrecht II/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Detroit is going to give the keys to the offense to No. 1 pick Cade Cunningham and let him learn on the job.

But that plan took a slight detour when Cunningham tweaked his ankle. The initial report last Friday — via Rod Beard of the Detroit News — made it sound like nothing and that Cunningham would play in the team’s preseason opener Oct. 6 (Wednesday).

Turns out it’s a little more serious than that, and the Pistons are understandably being cautious. Cunningham has yet to come back to practice and it’s not clear when he will.

Ankles are easy to re-injure and make worse if not fully healed when a player returns, so the Pistons are wise to be cautious with Cunningham. They don’t want this to linger, and these are just preseason games.

Cunningham averaged 18.7 points a game and shot 50% from 3 in his three Summer League games, hitting seven threes in one game there. Cunningham showed flashes in Las Vegas of why he was the No. 1 overall pick, but the style of play there — a glorified pickup game with primarily non-NBA level players — did not suit his game.

It just will be a little longer before we see him in actual NBA action.