clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cade Cunningham might be worth a phone call for Michigan Basketball if he becomes available

The nation’s top overall recruit now may have a decision to make about his future.

City Of Palms Classic Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Cade Cunningham is 2020’s top overall basketball recruit and is signed to play at Oklahoma State University, but his future at the program may already be in question before he ever sets foot on campus. The Cowboys were handed down a postseason ban earlier this month for the 2020-21 season after a former assistant accepted bribes from two financial advisors, among other punishments that were handed down.

That has some people wondering if Cunningham — who some believe to be the frontrunner to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft — might be looking for a way out given a national spotlight taken from the program he was set to join.

The Michigan Wolverines have a need at guard and there is an open scholarship spot available after it was announced that Nojel Eastern will not be coming to Ann Arbor. Despite us saying it feels like the roster may be set for the 2020-21 campaign, this might be a scenario that is worth exploring.

Sam Webb and Tim McCormick spoke about the loss of Eastern on 247Sports’ “Michigan Basketball Insider” this week and brought up Cunningham’s name:

Sam Webb: There’s so much mention of a guy like Cade Cunningham. Can Michigan call up Cade Cunningham now and be like, ‘hey, come on?’ I believe Cade Cunningham signed, so that would prevent them from just calling him up and saying, ‘hey, Cade Cunningham, come on.’ You reach out to his trainer, his coach… there are ways that you can certainly get to a guy to kind of gauge interest. He would have to be released, which I can’t imagine they wouldn’t do. This presents all kind of possibilities for Michigan with that extra scholarship.”

Tim McCormick: “My mind is racing. First of all, who can get in touch with Cade Cunningham? Zeb Jackson did play on the same high school team with him. He could just check-in. This is not your grandfather’s college basketball. A fluid situation. For those Michigan basketball fans that are hoping for sedentary offseasons in which everybody is kind of sitting around and you know exactly what your roster is going to look like, this is a lot more like an NBA approach. You’re trying to find free agents, you’re trying to make trades, you’re trying to upgrade your roster. This is the way things are going to be moving forward. I think it’s exciting.”

Despite the postseason ban, no indications have been given as to what is next for Cunningham, but there are discussions taking place.

“I’ll tell you what I told him — I didn’t spend four years recruiting him and telling him how much I care about him to now abandon what’s important,” OSU head coach Mike Boynton told reporters recently. “We’re gonna have conversations over the next few days, probably weeks, and we’re gonna try to look at all the options, whatever they are. G-League, overseas, another university, stay at Oklahoma State. At the end of the day, whatever his family and he decide is best for his future, I’m gonna get right in tow with that and I’m going to support him 100 percent.”

There’s no guarantee he leaves Stillwater, but it seems as if the G-League or overseas might be next in line if he decides to back out. Still, any scenario in which he is back on the market would warrant at least a gauge in interest. Even if a “no” might be likely, it is better to ask than leave a situation like this unexplored.