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This is the sixth post in a series here on Howlin’ T-Wolf ranking the Timberwolves roster player-by-player. Ideally, Derek, Tom or Jonah will post a new player everyday for 13 days. As always, you can follow Jonah (@howlintwolf) Derek (@DerekJamesNBA) and Tom (@Tom_NBA) on Twitter as well.
How I get caught with Dante Cunningham, I really just don’t know. I got the player sandwiched between two players I would’ve loved to drool over. Instead I sit here looking through pages of Google Images in hopes of finding just one picture of this guy that might stand out (It honestly was harder than you’d think).
But after researching a little more — not on the photos — I came to realize that Cunningham may very well be worth this spot in the rankings. I had him at 12 in my personal list because I could only compare him to Anthony Tolliver. You have to figure he’d play a similar role as AT. But if Adelman knew any better, he’d find a way to get Cunningham out onto the court more often.
An athletic forward with the ability to play multiple positions, Cunningham has now played for four different teams in just a four year career. Despite not finding a place to call home quite yet in such a short career, Cunningham has put up some surprisingly good numbers.
The Portland Trail Blazers drafted Cunningham in 2nd round of 2009 — save the Portland jokes. He showed potential but nothing more than a solid role guy. It’s when Cunningham moved to Charlotte when he made leaps and bounds, well, sorta. Cunningham’s minutes, points per game and field goal percentage all increased. And last year, with the Grizzlies, Cunningham posted a respectable career-high 14.94 PER. He also posted a career-high true shooting percentage of 53.8, suggesting that his jump shots and shot selection has certainly improved.
But you have to wonder why the numbers are good. Is Cunningham really that underrated? Or are his stats simply concentrated due to the lack of playing time he’s gotten through his career? Having never really paid much attention to him until now, I can’t answer that question. I do think he will be able to replace Tolliver’s production with more efficiency and wholeheartedly staunch defense.
What do you have to say of Dante?
@howlintwolf burn baby burn, Dante’s inferno!
— Jace Denman (@JJDacotah) September 11, 2012
Also, check out this gem of a video shown to us by @TeeWolvesMerch