Oregon State guard Jared Cunningham enters the 2012 NBA Draft as one of the more debated about players because of what scouts see him being on the professional level. While Cunningham primarily played shooting guard at Oregon State, some NBA scouts feel that he might be able to play point guard in the NBA.
On offense, Cunningham does a great job of getting to the hoop, and drawing fouls. He averaged 6.3 fouls drawn per 40 minutes last season, which ranked amongst the nation’s best. At 6-4, Cunningham compensates for his ideal lack of height with his athleticism and ability to play at a fast tempo. One major area of weakness is his inconsistency from outside the arc. Last season, Cunningham shot 34% from 3 point range, a number he will have to improve on as teams will force him to show the ability to knock down open jumpshots.
Defensively, Cunningham is a terror in passing lanes, using his athleticism and length to force turnovers against the opposition. Cunningham has led the Pac 12 in steals for each of the past two seasons. He might face some difficulties in the NBA guarding shooting guards, given his modest 6’4 185 frame. Due to his size, Cunningham might have more of an effect guarding point guards earlier in his career.
Where Cunningham goes in the draft will depend on what teams see him as. If a team projects him to be a point guard, it is very likely that he might slip into the bottom of the first round. However, if teams seem him as more of a combo guard, he should expect to go in the top half of the second round.
|Rank||58th overall (14th SG)|
|Projection||Early-Mid 2nd round|
Getting to the rim
Very good defender