PistonPowered reader Jacob Tucker noted on Twitter that Rodney Stuckey‘s #NBARank is sure to spark debate. It’s often very polarizing when it comes to Stuckey — his ardent supporters believe that he’ll one day live up to those incredibly high standards Joe Dumars set for him when he was drafted while his most vocal critics would have you believe he’s the worst player in the NBA. Those extremes make it hard to properly evaluate Stuckey, but I think his ranking is just about right. There are probably a few players ranked higher who he is better than, a few below him who he’s worse than. But 108? I have no real issue with that.
I found this tweet by Justin Rodriguez in reaction to Stuckey’s ranking interesting though:
#NBArank Rodney Stuckey will flourish once he no longer has to play point guard.
It’s possible Stuckey is more comfortable as a shooting guard and, consequently, he’ll play more consistently. But what does it do to his value? He’s about to be a free agent. Stuckey as a free agent point guard has much more value on the market than Stuckey as a free agent shooting guard. As a shooting guard, how many players at that position have Stuckey’s size and skillset? Quite a few, right? But what about point guard? Very few PGs have his mix of youth, size, speed and strength. I’ve seen many Pistons fans advocating the position switch for Stuckey for some time, but if I were Stuckey or his agent and interested in maximizing his value, I’d certainly want to be viewed as a point guard.
I’ve written several times that I don’t think Tayshaun Prince was the Pistons’ best player last season, but I’m also not surprised that, at No. 105, he was the highest ranked Piston in the ESPN rankings. Prince is far better than Rip Hamilton or Ben Wallace at this point in their careers, and he’s surely the most recognizable of the Pistons old guard at this point, so it’s understandable that his ranking is a tad inflated based on name recognition.
As for Ben Gordon, I don’t have much analysis for his 111 ranking. Yes, anyone who has watched him the past two years knows his ranking is too high. But we’ve all also seen that the reputation Gordon built for himself in Chicago still looms large. He was an exciting player and explosive scorer who was confident and comfortable in his role. He also had an amazingly good playoff series. Consequently, he was paid more than he should’ve been paid. Hopefully next season, Gordon comes closer to living up to the reputation he built earlier in his career.
So with that, we’re all done seeing Pistons in the rankings without a single player cracking the top 100. Here is where everyone else ended up: Rip Hamilton (126), Greg Monroe (132), Tracy McGrady (178), Will Bynum (188), Charlie Villanueva (191), Jonas Jerebko (206), Austin Daye (217), Ben Wallace (227), Jason Maxiell (239), Brandon Knight (267), Chris Wilcox (330), Kyle Singler (446), Terrico White (472) and Vernon Macklin (498).
If you’re on Twitter, feel free to follow along. The @NBAonESPN account is unveiling the names and picking the best comments that use the #NBARank hashtag for retweets and also featuring some on ESPN.com.