The top signal is Joe Dumars’ decision not to extend Stuckey. Dumars had never denied an extension to a player on a rookie contract. When Dumars knew he didn’t want to make the necessary investment for a young player, he cut his losses. He still has a couple months to do that with Stuckey.
Making it work shouldn’t be a problem. If Rodney White and Mateen Cleaves had value when Dumars traded them, so does Stuckey.
Here’s what Dumars told Pistons.com’s Keith Langlois this summer:
KL: Do you see this as something of a crossroads year for Rodney Stuckey?
JD: I wouldn’t use the word crossroads, but I will say this. He and I, we’ve had some conversations about expanding his role on this team, about assuming more responsibility, more leadership, for the success of us going forward. I think it’s important for him. We’ve had a couple of those conversations, so he understands exactly, going into year four. I think he’s been good, but good is not always good enough. He’s been good, but sometimes you have to be more than good and that’s what we’re looking for from him.
As Feldman explains, Stuckey has been improving for all of his campaigns. He is still getting better, but does Joe Dumars think he has the potential to be an All-Star point guard or shooting guard. If you look throughout the league there is not one contender with a great player at either one of these positions or they have a point forward like the Heat. Stuckey is a scoring point guard and a player like that runs a fine line between scoring and harming the team, just ask the Stephon Marbury's and Steve Francis' of this world.
To make thinks easier, Dan gave a few trade options to think about.
- Stuckey to the Cavaliers for Anthony Parker and a first-round pick
- Stuckey and Jason Maxiell to the Lakers for Lamar Odom
- Stuckey, Tayshaun Prince, Greg Monroe and Tracy McGrady to the Heat for Chris Bosh, Dexter Pittman and Mario Chalmers
- Stuckey and Chris Wilcox to the Thunder for James Harden and Byron Mullens
- Stuckey and Chris Wilcox to the Thunder for James Harden and Cole Aldrich
- Stuckey, Tayshaun Prince and Chris Wilcox to the Trail Blazers for Andre Miller, Nicolas Batum and Joel Przybilla
- Stuckey and Greg Monroe to the Kings for DeMarcus Cousins and Jason Thompson
- Stuckey, Jason Maxiell and DaJuan Summers to the Jazz for Mehmet Okur
- Stuckey, Richard Hamilton and DaJuan Summers to the Wizards for Kirk Hinrich, Kevin Seraphin and Josh Howard
I do not want to go into all of these scenarios since I want to give you my own. I do not think Miami would part with Bosh until next year the way things have been going. If he performs subpar in the playoffs, well, Riles will figure something out. Odom won't leave LA.
I like the idea of the Kings trade, because of Cousins. If Cousins keeps acting up Sacramento might settle for a lesser ball player, but a certainly more reliable one. I just do not see the motivation for the Kings to acquire Stuckey when they already have Tyreke Evans, they are basically the same player, big and strong combo-guards without a jumper and a good knack for dring the ball to the hole.
The two trades I would consider most likely are with the Kings and the Blazers, I would not do both of them though. It would be a good proposal, I do not see them upgrading the roster. I would love Andre Miller on our team, I'm a fan of Nick Batum and Joel Pryzbilla is a very capable and underrated big man in this league. The Blazers might exchange STuckey for Miller since he is a younger player and can drive the basketball. The Blazers need a playmaker though, especially since Brandon Roy is having knee problems. I do not see Portland parting with Batum and I think that is the deal breaker actually!
So, after all my smart-assing, here are my ideas with a little bit of reasoning:
- Stuckey, Maxiell and Daye for Atlanta's Josh Smith (acquiring a talented big man and a great athlete)
- Stuckey and Maxiell for Charlotte's Nazr Mohammed (we need big men and it is an expiring contract)