Rodney Stuckey has been the source of a lot of debate between Pistons fans, starting almost instantly after the Pistons selected him 15th in the 2007 NBA Draft. The team’s handling of Stuckey surely affected his growth as a player, as the Pistons flipped him back and forth between PG and SG. The multitude of coaching changes Stuckey played through (and perhaps helped inspire) didn’t do him any favors either.
Now, facing Unrestricted Free Agency in the off-season, the Pistons have a decision to make on Rodney Stuckey. Do they keep him around in hopes he can help the team advance past the first round of the playoffs? Or do they trade him and his expiring contract to continue to build their core? At this point in the season, Stuckey is most certainly the best SG on the roster. Finally playing in a season where he hasn’t been asked to run the offense, Stuckey has flourished when healthy. Stuckey is producing career-highs in eFG% (47.1), 3P% (33.3), and 2P% (46.7).
He has carved out a role on the team as the primary bench scorer, something that most good teams have. However, his lack of ability to consistently make open threes (although he is a very odd 10/18 from the corners so far this year), lack of ability to make non-three point jump shots and his expiring contract make him a candidate to be dealt before the 3:00 p.m. NBA Trade Deadline on February 20th.
Who might be interested in Stuckey, and who/what could the Pistons get in return? Let’s do some hypothetical dealing!
DET receives: G/F Jason Richardson, New Orleans’ 2014 1st Round Pick (Acquired for Jrue Holiday)
PHI receives: Rodney Stuckey, 2015 2nd Round Pick
Detroit makes this deal in order to continue building their young core for the future, at the cost of lessening their chances of winning in the playoffs in 2014. In return, the Pistons essentially replace the pick that they gave up when they dealt Ben Gordon to Charlotte. New Orleans’ pick figures to be somewhere in the 10-16 range (currently 13th), which could net the Pistons a good SF in this year’s talented draft. In return, Philadelphia gets rid of the $6.5 million that Richardson is owed next year, and the remainder of this year’s salary. The 2nd round pick in 2015 helps make this trade feel slightly less slanted in the Pistons’ favor. Do I think the Pistons make this deal? Absolutely. Do I think Philadelphia is willing to give up a 1st Round Pick when they aren’t in any hurry to win? Probably not. However, the organization traded Nikola Vucevic for 0 games of Andrew Bynum, so you never know!
DET receives: Ed Davis, Jerryd Bayless
MEM receives: Rodney Stuckey
In this deal, the Pistons shore up multiple parts of their bench, and possibly set themselves up for other moves. Ed Davis is being tragically under-used once again this season, averaging only 17.6 minutes per game, despite his effectiveness scoring in the paint, rebounding ability and a knack for getting to the free throw line. There’s no excuse for Davis to be playing less minutes this season than Jon Leuer. For you conspiracy theorists out there, some believe that the Grizzlies are trying to damage Davis’ value before he becomes a Restricted Free Agent this summer. If the Pistons were to move Greg Monroe before the deadline as well, Davis would serve as a great replacement for some of his minutes. Bayless, a normally reliable three-point shooter having a down year, would hopefully help stretch the floor off the bench. For what it’s worth, he made 38% of his attempts if you combine the ’11-12 season and the ’12-13 season. Your guess is as good as mine as to why he’s only shooting 30% this year. Memphis does this deal to make a desperate attempt at reaching the playoffs this year. They currently sit 4.5 games out of the playoffs in the West, and are struggling due to a lack of production on the wings. Don’t miss you one bit Tayshaun. Davis, Bayless and the Grizzlies face the Pistons this Sunday.
DET receives: Mo Harkless, Glen Davis, 2014 2nd Rd Pick
ORL receives: Rodney Stuckey, 2014 2nd Rd Pick
This is another deal where the Pistons build for the future. The Pistons take one year of Davis’ $6.5M salary off of Orlando’s hands and receive Harkless and a higher 2nd round pick to compensate for having to pay Davis for his computer repairs sub-par shooting and rebounding. Harkless has been developing his three-point shot this season, and with more work and seasoning (he’s only 20) could very well be a good starter in the league. At worst, he’s a productive bench player in two or three years. Orlando would probably be hesitant to let go of Harkless unless they think they can do something with the cap room this move frees up.
Open up the discussion in the comment section with your thoughts on whether or not Stuckey should be dealt, the deals mentioned, or deals of your own.