This is just a hunch, but I think the Pistons are going to trade Rodney Stuckey before the trade deadline.
Obviously, this post comes on the heels of maybe Stuckey’s worst performance of the season. But I don’t think it’s impulsive. Rather, I think we’ve ignored too many clues to this point.
The top signal is Joe Dumars’ decision not to extend Stuckey. Dumars had never denied an extension to a player on a rookie contract. When Dumars knew he didn’t want to make the necessary investment for a young player, he cut his losses. He still has a couple months to do that with Stuckey.
Making it work shouldn’t be a problem. If Rodney White and Mateen Cleaves had value when Dumars traded them, so does Stuckey.
Another factor is Dumars’ desire to make a trade. He had playoff hopes for a team that’s sinking from the postseason race. Although the ownership situation limits him, Dumars surely wants to make something happen.
The value of Prince’s large expiring contract most likely comes by acquiring a better player signed long-term, which the Pistons probably aren’t interested in doing. Hamilton’s contract might dissuade every team from acquiring him.
Stuckey would likely pique the interest of more teams.
KL: Do you see this as something of a crossroads year for Rodney Stuckey?
JD: I wouldn’t use the word crossroads, but I will say this. He and I, we’ve had some conversations about expanding his role on this team, about assuming more responsibility, more leadership, for the success of us going forward. I think it’s important for him. We’ve had a couple of those conversations, so he understands exactly, going into year four. I think he’s been good, but good is not always good enough. He’s been good, but sometimes you have to be more than good and that’s what we’re looking for from him.
Stuckey had been good this year. In fact, he’s having the best season of his career – as he’s done every year.
But he hasn’t been more than good. And unless Dumars’ expectations have changed, that means Stuckey has been a disappointment.
Maybe it’s time for Stuckey to work toward the next level somewhere else.
Just to get the ball rolling, here are nine trade ideas involving Stuckey:
- Stuckey to the Cavaliers for Anthony Parker and a first-round pick
- Stuckey and Jason Maxiell to the Lakers for Lamar Odom
- Stuckey, Tayshaun Prince, Greg Monroe and Tracy McGrady to the Heat for Chris Bosh, Dexter Pittman and Mario Chalmers
- Stuckey and Chris Wilcox to the Thunder for James Harden and Byron Mullens
- Stuckey and Chris Wilcox to the Thunder for James Harden and Cole Aldrich
- Stuckey, Tayshaun Prince and Chris Wilcox to the Trail Blazers for Andre Miller, Nicolas Batum and Joel Przybilla
- Stuckey and Greg Monroe to the Kings for DeMarcus Cousins and Jason Thompson
- Stuckey, Jason Maxiell and DaJuan Summers to the Jazz for Mehmet Okur
- Stuckey, Richard Hamilton and DaJuan Summers to the Wizards for Kirk Hinrich, Kevin Seraphin and Josh Howard
What do you have?