3-on-3: Trading Rodney Stuckey

Modeled after ESPN’s 5-on-5, Patrick and I will answer three questions about a Pistons-related topic. We’re going to use 3-on-3s to assess the tradability of each Piston leading up to the March 15 trade deadline.

For each 3-on-3, we’ll be joined by a guest contributor. Today, that’s Beckley Mason of HoopSpeak.com and ESPN.

Please add your responses in the comment.

1. How motivated are the Pistons to trade Rodney Stuckey?

Dan Feldman: When the Pistons re-signed Rodney Stuckey, I immediately said they should spend the next 2.5 years finding the right time to trade him. I’ll reverse course a little. The main reason I thought that was Stuckey didn’t appear happy in Detroit, and I figured he’d use his leverage as an unrestricted free agent in 2014 to leave. But with Brandon Knight’s positive influence on Stuckey, I wouldn’t rush to trade Stuckey just yet.

Patrick Hayes: A couple months ago, I think there might have been more motivation. It seemed like Stuckey’s main motivation for re-signing in Detroit was a lack of viable contract offers elsewhere and he started the season off playing sluggishly, then compounded things with an early injury that sapped him of some of his aggressiveness. Over the last month, though, he’s played really well and meshed with Brandon Knight. He seems more invested in being here and happier. The Pistons would probably move him if they got a great offer, but I think they’re much less likely to shop him now.

Beckley Mason: Motivated, but not desperate. The Pistons have holes all over the roster and a glut of scoring guards. But Stuckey is today the best of that bunch, so moving him doesn’t necessarily solve all that much.

2. How motivated are other teams to trade for Rodney Stuckey?

Dan Feldman: Stuckey is a good player on a reasonable contract and still has upside, so there must be interest. But Stuckey’s improved play hasn’t lasted long enough to justify giving up a huge return for him. I’m not sure any team views him as a potential star, and that might be the price the Pistons put on him.

Patrick Hayes: Depends on how closely teams have been paying attention to his last month. He’s been much more aggressive and productive over that stretch, but overall this season, his numbers are down a bit from last year – slightly better 3-point shooting and free-throw attempts and down in assists, rebounds and steals. Stuckey’s issue is consistency, and he’s still yet to prove that he can do what he’s done the last few weeks over the course of a season. More teams would take the chance that he could when he was on his rookie contract than would with him making $8 million a year. There’s probably still a market for him, but cost is always the biggest factor in trades.

Beckley Mason: Stuckey is sort of an odd fit with a lot of teams because he still needs a consistent spot-up 3-point shot. That being said, he can guard both positions and seems to be growing as a team leader this season.

3. How likely are the Pistons to trade Rodney Stuckey?

Dan Feldman: Just a reminder: The Pistons can trade Stuckey. But I doubt they will when all signs point to him coming into his own. As Patrick has written, Stuckey is the Joe Dumars player. I don’t expect Detroit to trade him while Stuckey is just beginning to look like the player Dumars thought he could be.

Patrick Hayes: Not likely. His fit with Knight and production have re-established him as one of the young assets the Pistons possess, even if he’s a bit pricier than the guys still on their rookie contracts. Stuckey is not so irreplaceable that you would make him untouchable, but he’s also shown enough improvement and fit in Lawrence Frank‘s system to warrant keeping around.

Beckley Mason: Very unlikely. He has a reasonable contract for two more seasons after this one, and is still getting better. If he can continue to expand his range, he is a nice pairing with Knight and Greg Monroe going forward.

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