Rodney Stuckey has one year and $8.5 million left on his contract, but only $4 million of that is guaranteed if he’s waived by midnight.
If the Pistons waive him, they could either count all $4 million against the cap this upcoming season (which begins July 1), or they could use the stretch provision, which would count his salary $1,333,333 against the cap each of the next three years. Stuckey would receive his actual payments on the same schedule.
In effect, by waiving Stuckey and using the stretch provision, the Pistons would add $4,009,820 to their cap room this summer.
I would be shocked if the Pistons waive Stuckey for a couple reasons. From Joe Dumars’ perspective, it’s admitting Stuckey has failed to live up to the contract Dumars gave him. From Tom Gores’ perspective, it’s expensive to pay Stuckey and then pay another player to take his place.
On the merits, I could go either way, but I’d lean toward waiving him. Even as an expiring contract, he doesn’t have much trade value right now, though it will increase as the trade deadline approaches. He’s been up-and-down as a player, and I guess you can hope he connects better with Maurice Cheeks than he did his last coach (or the coach before that or the coach before that).
Really, the question nearly boils down to this: Could the Pistons use $4,009,820 in cap room to get a more valuable player than Stuckey? If yes, they should waive him. If no, they shouldn’t.