|2009 NBA Draft||NBA||Drafted 33rd overall by Portland.|
|21st August, 2009||NBA||Signed a guaranteed two year minimum salary contract with Portland.|
|24th February, 2011||NBA||Traded by Portland, along with Joel Przybilla, Sean Marks, a 2011 first round pick (#19,Tobias Harris) and a future first round pick (#24, 2014, Shabazz Muhammad) to Charlotte in exchange for Gerald Wallace.|
|20th December, 2011||NBA||Signed a five year, $6.27 million offer sheet with Memphis. Included team option for 2013/14.|
|23rd December, 2011||NBA||Charlotte declined to match Memphis's offer sheet.|
|24th July, 2012||NBA||Traded by Memphis to Minnesota in exchange for Wayne Ellington.|
|28th June, 2013||NBA||Minnesota exercised 2013/14 team option.|
|4th December, 2014||NBA||Signed an unguaranteed minimum salary contract for the remainder of the season with New Orleans.|
|9th July, 2015||NBA||Re-signed by New Orleans to a three year, $8,934,750 contract. Included player option for 2017/18.|
|29th April, 2017||NBA||Declined 2017/18 player option.|
|24th September, 2017||NBA||Re-signed by New Orleans to a one year, $2.3 million contract.|
|8th February, 2018||NBA||Traded by New Orleans to Brooklyn in exchange for Rashad Vaughn.|
|19th July, 2018||NBA||Signed a one year, $2.487 million contract with San Antonio.|
|2005 - 2009||Villanova (NCAA)|
|June 2009 - February 2011||Portland Trail Blazers (NBA)|
|February 2011 - December 2011||Charlotte Bobcats (NBA)|
|December 2011 - July 2012||Memphis Grizzlies (NBA)|
|July 2012 - June 2014||Minnesota Timberwolves (NBA)|
|December 2014 - February 2018||New Orleans Pelicans (NBA)|
|February 2018 - June 2018||Brooklyn Nets (NBA)|
|July 2018 - present||San Antonio Spurs (NBA)|
June 29, 2018
SF/PF - 6’8, 230lbs - 31 years old - 9 years of experience
Prior to this season, Dante Cunningham had essentially had the same season over and over again. Languishing somewhere between a small forward and a power forward – without the foot speed or ball skill for a small forward, too small and poor on the glass for a face-up power forward – he plied his trade as a corner shooter and decent defender, never ever that much of a presence on the court but at least rarely making any errors along the way.
He still did this, for the most part. But after his trade to the Nets, he put up one of the best stretches of his career. Empowered to fire up shots from the outside in a way he has never done before – even when a more featured scorer back in his Villanova days, it was more around the basket and on mid-range shots – Cunningham thrived in what was often a small-ball centre role, enjoying the empowering offensive freedom of Kenny Atkinson’s system and rebounding like never before. Or at least, not for a good few years.
Whether Brooklyn intends to re-sign him or not, whichever team that takes him on should anticipate a reversion to the mean. By trade, Cunningham is a little-things player, occasionally useful defensively on certain match-ups and in rotating about a bit, occasionally a decent outside shooter, but nothing spectacular. He still will be that. But in thriving just before hitting free agency and showing an ability to play yet another position to decent effect, Cunningham enters the market with a bit of momentum, which should lead to future employment somewhere.
Player Plan: Entering unrestricted free agency. Plenty valid as a minimum salary contract returnee, yet considering the wider need to upgrade talent, it is certainly no priority.
June 29, 2017
SF/PF, 6’8, 230lbs, 30 years old, 8 years of experience
A reasonably solid and consistent presence on a team with injuries and upheaval all around him, but ‘solid’ should definitely be interpreted in this instance as ‘unremarkable’. Cunningham’s offence has become mostly the three-pointer over the last two seasons, and it is not a coincidence that his true shooting percentage has shot way up over those two (.586% this past season). But the volume is low, the rebounds getting lower every season, and Cunningham isn’t doing much to get open other than stand in the corner. Still, a combination of corner threes, heady play, cutting off the ball, running if possible and good team defence makes for a decent role player. Perhaps in a more stable offensive environment, he can get more shots up.
Player Plan: Expiring $2,978,250 contract. Could get the best part of a full non-taxpayer MLE somewhere, or at least somewhere in the $5-6 million range, and would be worth it here too.
July 12, 2010
Considering he's always been a power forward in a small forward's body, Cunningham made a pretty decent effort of pretending otherwise. Given plenty of opportunities due to injury, Cunningham shot his customary mid range two's well, rebounding well enough for a man of his size, and proved he could play defense on most small and power forwards. He also turned it over only 25 times all year, leading all rookies in turnover percentage at 6.0%. This is helped significantly by the fact that he doesn't dribble, but nevertheless, it's a hugely impressive number. (Tyler Hansbrough was next lowest at 7.1% in his part-season of work; Marcus Thornton was third at 7.3%. The worst? Jrue Holiday, 21.9%. Then James Johnson. Then Hasheem Thabeet.)
In fact, not only did it lead all rookies, the only player that played significant minutes (i.e. more than 500) to have a lower turnover percentage than that was Maurice Evans at 4.5%. Michael Redd had only a 5.8%, but he barely played all season. And Steve Novak had a 1.8% in 57 games; however, he only played 14 seconds per game. (NB: That figure is exaggerated slightly.)
May 8, 2010
Britain (and England in particular) are starting to place some good big men prospects abroad. Joel Freeland was a first round draft pick of the Blazers back in 2006, who is slowly making a name for himself in the powerhouse Spanish ACB. Another Blazers draft pick, Dante Cunningham, has also worked out for the British team, although he doesn't have the pre-requisite passport yet. Former Hornets forward Sean Banks is also eligible for a British passport, and supposedly in the process of getting one. And other British big man prospects that you may have heard of include Dan Clark (Estudiantes Madrid, ACB), Justin Robinson (Rider), Eric Boateng (just graduated from Arizona State University) and Matthew Bryan-Amaning (University of Washington).