Cade Cunningham might experience "growing pains" but will not "be a bust", insists Detroit Pistons head coach Dwane Casey.
The Pistons selected Cunningham out of Oklahoma State with the first overall pick in this year's draft.
Much is expected of the 20-year-old as he seeks to lift Detroit, who finished bottom of the East last season having been in the playoffs as recently as 2019.
Cunningham scored 20.1 points per game in college last year and should offer help to Jerami Grant on offense.
After Grant's 22.3 points in 2020-21, Derrick Rose (14.2) was the team's next-best scorer, and he left for the New York Knicks after 15 games.
It meant the Pistons had the fourth-worst offense in the NBA (106.6 points per game).
Cunningham, who had 1.6 steals and 0.8 blocks, is a two-way talent, but the need is less pressing on the defensive end of the floor, where Detroit ranked 10th in giving up 111.1 points.
The focus will certainly be on his scoring, yet Casey is happy to stay patient with the team's young new star.
"One thing I know: Cade won't be a bust. He's not. That's one thing, you can guarantee that," Casey said. "But there will be growing pains.
"We have to be supportive. He's going to have a target on his back each and every night, and it's something that [we], his team-mates, the coaching staff, the whole organisation [have] to make sure we support him.
"There's going to be some nights he scores seven and there's going to be some nights he scores 25."
Who’s your BFF?— Detroit Pistons (@DetroitPistons) September 27, 2021
Everyone: “Everyone” pic.twitter.com/RqLYe9OHZE
Reflecting on his status as a number one pick, Cunningham said he was "just writing my own story" and added: "This is a different pressure than I've ever faced before, I guess, but I don't really look at it as pressure.
"It's more an opportunity to show people something than to think about all the bad things that can happen."
He echoed Casey's sentiments, however, as he said: "I know it's the NBA and nothing is given to you.
"You have to be humble coming in and just take it for what it is, just try to work your way up. I feel like if you can be consistent every day and just work hard, the good things will come.
"I'm not really going to press, trying to force the issue too early. I want to make sure everything is smooth with the squad and be patient."