This is the debut of a new feature on PistonPowered (and many other TrueHoop Network sites) called 3-on-3. Modeled after ESPN’s 5-on-5, Patrick and I will answer three questions about a Pistons-related topic.
For each 3-on-3, we’ll be joined by a guest contributor. First up, Matt Watson of Detroit Bad Boys.
1. Will Tayshaun Prince have another year as good as his last?
Dan Feldman: No. For the first time in a couple seasons, Prince really excelled on both ends of the floor. There could be a million reasons why, but I’ll guess the simple one: contract year. With a new deal and and his 32nd birthday approaching, odds are he’ll backslide next year.
Patrick Hayes: No. I don’t think he’s on a rapid decline, but he was a go-to player last season out of necessity more than anything else. He’s at his best in a complementary role, and as a result, his minutes and role will likely decrease wherever he ends up. He’ll be more efficient, but his overall averages won’t approach last season’s.
Matt Watson: I think so, with one caveat: he posted a career-high 21.0 usage rate, which I don’t think he’ll match. Overall he’s been consistent the last several years. He does a bit of everything, and players like that generally don’t fall off the table overnight, even with a role change.
2. How much will Tayshaun Prince earn on his next contract?
Dan Feldman: Four years, $30 million. Prince is coming off a solid season, and Joe Dumars has never been too tight with the purse strings when it comes to re-signing his own free agents. Prince can get one more big(ish) payday, and I doubt he’ll pass that up to play for a contender for peanuts.
Patrick Hayes: Four years, $18 million. He won’t get the overly generous contract Richard Jefferson got from San Antonio (four years, $38.8 million), and he won’t settle for the discounted deal Matt Barnes accepted from the Lakers (2 years/$3.6 million), but I’d put him somewhere between those two extremes.
Matt Watson: Assuming no drastic changes to the CBA, the Mid-Level Exception seems about right. You could argue that he’s worth more, but he’s already 32 years old with a lot of miles. Plus, I think the market for his services is smaller than most folks realize: it really comes down to a handful of contenders looking for an extra piece.
3. Will Tayshaun Prince re-sign with the Pistons?
Dan Feldman: Yes. Prince might want to leave, and the Pistons might want to move on, but I doubt either does. With the Mid-Level Exception likely limited to about $20 million for four years, where else would Prince get a big offer? And with limited cap room to sign another team’s free agent, how would the Pistons replace their top player?
Patrick Hayes: No. Prince, understandably, has not seemed happy spending the last productive years of his career on a non-contender. The Pistons should give minutes to young players, particularly Austin Daye, to see whether they have anything there. Prince was important to this franchise’s second golden age, but it’d be best for both parties to go their separate ways.
Matt Watson: Given Dumars’ recent track record, I wouldn’t be surprised – I just hope I’m wrong. Detroit won’t contend for awhile, and when they do, Prince will be toast. Given the waves that he’s made, it’s risky bringing him along for the ride. Let’s see Austin Daye or even Kyle Singler sink or swim. Or hell, just put Jonas Jerebko there.
What do you think? Share your answers in the comments.