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Reports: Pistons’ Cade Cunningham considering shin surgery

Cleveland Cavaliers v Detroit Pistons

DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 4: Cade Cunningham #2 of the Detroit Pistons stand on the court for the National Anthem before the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on November 4, 2022 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. 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 2022 NBAE (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

The Detroit Pistons came into the season hoping to compete for a play-in spot, but they have stumbled to a 3-14 start. With this latest news, they may be the first team to pivot to the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes.

Cade Cunningham, who has sat out the team’s last five games, is considering shin surgery that could sideline him for an extended period of time, according to multiple reports.

There are reports this is a stress fracture in his shin. From James Edwards III and Shams Charania of The Athletic:

There is still hope that this past week of rest subdued inflammation and pain enough to return to the floor sooner rather than later, but that still can only be decided with more time. In the worst-case scenario, the chronic pain continues to linger and Cunningham takes a route that forces him to miss an extended period. However, per league sources, Cunningham is trying to turn over every stone before deciding to get surgery.

Regardless of the route Cunningham takes, he is expected to be out indefinitely as everyone invested in the rising star’s future works to determine the best course of action for his long-term health.

Surgery likely would end Cunningham’s season, reports Jeff Stotts of In Street Clothes.

Cunningham, the No.1 overall pick of the Pistons in 2021, had a standout rookie season and impressed at the start of his second campaign, with 19.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and six assists a game until he sat down with the shin pain.

Whether or not he has surgery, if he misses an extended period, it will leave the Pistons with one of the worst records in the NBA. Considering the depth of talent at the top of next year’s draft board — not just Wembanyama but also Scoot Henderson, Nick Smith, Amen Thompson and more — the Pistons will need to consider what is best for the long-term success of the franchise. And that may not be winning a lot of games this season.