Dante Cunningham is the kind of solid reserve big man who normally would have been picked up by a team in early-to-mid August as they rounded out their roster, but last summer nobody went near him. The reason was a some ugly domestic violence charges — ones that led to him getting booed by home fans in Minnesota at the end of last season — and in today’s climate no team was going near that.
However by mid-August all charges were dismissed. A source who saw the evidence against him told me this was a case where there was no foundation to the charges, police had found the accusations contained “falsehoods.” It is unlikely the league would suspend him in this case.
Still teams have stayed away. However that may be about to change, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
The Pelicans are looking for a little depth. They have an impressive starting front court with Anthony Davis and Omer Asik, and Ryan Anderson has been good as a stretch on the offensive end but he’s not providing much defense.
Cunningham, 26, is a quality defender, especially against the pick-and-roll, and he can defend the three or the four. Offensively he’s a pick-and-pop big man who makes his living on the long two on offense — he took 58 percent of his shots from 16 feet out to the arc last season in Minnesota (where he averaged 6 points and 4 rebounds a game in about 20 minutes a night off the bench). He hit a respectable 39.2 percent of those long twos but that’s still an inefficient shot.
The Pelicans have the roster space after waiving Darius Miller and Patric Young.
If the Pelicans don’t snap him up, some team will.