Let’s see, a championship-team starter on the wrong side of 30 whose best days appear to be behind him, but still capable of playing at a high level. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.
That was Chauncey Billups’ situation when the Pistons traded him to the Nuggets. At the time, there were compelling reasons to keep him and compelling reasons to trade him. Joe Dumars chose the latter, and it ended up being the wrong choice.
Dumars faces a similar predicament with Tayshaun Prince, but Prince’s expiring contraction only complicates the decision.
Frankly, I don’t know whether the Pistons should trade Prince or keep him past the trade deadline, and if they keep him, I don’t know what they should do with him. Does Dumars?
DF now: No (at least, probably not)
There’s still a chance Joe Dumars could prove me wrong on this with the mysterious sign-and-trade we’ve all heard about. But that would require more than simply landing a better package than the late first-round pick the Mavericks offered before the trade deadline.
Prince’s presence on the team certainly had something to do with the boycott in Philadelphia. Considering the embarrassment that meant for the franchise and the example it set for the younger players, I bet the Pistons wish they had traded Prince while they still could’ve. Don’t you think, had the boycott occurred before the trade deadline, Dumars would have accept the Mavericks’ offer (if they had still made it knowing Prince participated in a boycott)?
Short of a sign-and-trade for Chris Kaman – that’s really the only logical deal I can see that would explain Dumars’ desire to hold onto Prince at the trade deadline – I think Dumars’ best option will probably be re-signing Prince this summer and trying to trade him later.
If Prince, an unrestricted free agent just walks away, that would be pretty disheartening.
Few players in basketball are as smart on the court as Tayshaun Prince. He’s exactly the type of veteran a rebuilding team would want to teach its young impressionable future cornerstones. The problem is his large expiring contract makes him the team’s most valuable asset if it wants more young impressionable future cornerstones.
Most assume that the Pistons will try to trade Prince to improve. I still have my doubts.
PH now: Yes
Because the Pistons couldn’t make trades that added long-term salary, the types of deals that could include Prince were limited. The Pistons reportedly were offered the opportunity to flip Prince’s expiring contract for Caron Butler’s and receive a late first-round pick from Dallas for the trouble. That pick would have certainly been a small asset, but nowhere near equal value. The Pistons now have the chance to use Prince in a sign-and-trade this offseason, hopefully netting them more than a marginal draft pick in return.