↓ Login/Logout ↓
Schedule/Results
↓ Roster ↓
Salaries
↓ Archives ↓
↓ About ↓

Why Tayshaun Prince won’t be a Piston next year

Cast aside any qualms about the Chauncey Billups-for-Allen Iverson trade for a moment. Joe Dumars has done an excellent job as Pistons president.

Part of his shrewdness has been his ability to succeed with moves of any sort — draft picks, trades and signings have all shaped the franchise. The Thunder were built through the draft. The Celtics were built through trades. Detroit can’t be labeled like that.

But there appears to be one constant with Dumars’s moves. He gets rid of players who don’t perform in the playoffs.

In 2001-02, the Pistons secured the No. 2 seed, and the advanced to the second round for the first time in 11 years.

But they needed a full five games to beat the seventh-seeded Raptors in the first round. And they were no match for the Celtics in the second round. Dumars wasn’t satisfied.

The two starters who had the biggest drops in PER from the regular season to the playoffs lost their jobs. Jerry Stackhouse was traded to the Wizards for Richard Hamilton. And Chauncey Billups signed with Detroit, pushing Chucky Atkins to the bench.

And those aren’t the only postseason duds Dumars has jettisoned. Billups, Ben Wallace, Clifford Robinson, Corliss Williamson, Lindsey Hunter and Zeljko Rebraca left the Pistons after falling off in the playoffs.

Prince’s problems

And that brings us to Tayshaun Prince.

He has been absolutely atrocious against Cleveland. Prince is averaging 3.0 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 32 minutes per game. He has shot 3-of-12 and not taken a free throw.

In game one, he primarily guarded LeBron James, who had 38 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and no turnovers in 41 minutes. Prince covered Delonte West more in game two. West scored 20 points on 12 shots.

And this isn’t an aberration. Prince’s once-spectacular defense has looked less than pedestrian this year.

By several metrics, Prince is the type of player Dumars moves after this season.

Three-year drop

Barring a miracle resurgence the rest of this series, Prince’s PER will have dropped from the regular season to the playoffs in each of the last three seasons.

That has happened to four Pistons in the Dumars era. Billups (9.9 combined drop) and Williamson (12.8 combined drop) were traded. Rasheed Wallace (8.7) and Richard Hamilton (7.3) had lower combined drops and stuck around.

Prince’s combined drop in the last three years is 18.4.

Big drop

Prince’s PER is down from 15 in the regular season to 0.3 in the playoffs (-14.7).

Since 2001-02, just two other starters have had their PER drop from the regular season to the playoffs by at least five — Stackhouse by 5.4 in 2002 and Ben Wallace by 5.2 in 2006.

Both were gone before the next season. (Richard Hamilton has a drop of 4.9 this year, so his future with Detroit could be in jeopardy, too).

Worse drop than last year

And Prince’s drop has gotten worse the last two years, from 1.5 to 14.7.

In the last nine years, seven players’ PER has dropped from the regular season to the playoffs in consecutive season, with the second drop being more than the first. Five of them were gone the next year.

Just Rasheed Wallace and Hamilton stayed with the team.

Value

What’s most intriguing about trading Prince is he still probably has value.

Although I don’t thin Prince could stop many small forwards, he has the hardest task in the league with LeBron. Some GMs might excuse his playoff shortcomings.

And Prince, who will turn 30 next season, isn’t far removed from being one of the league’s most promising players. He was as good as a role player could be. He defended, scored, passed and rebounded. He was even on the Olympic team.

It’s hard to erase that reputation quickly. Look at this John Hollinger column on defensive players. He gives Prince an honorable mention at small forward with this comment:

Tayshaun Prince (+4.87) has been a fixture on this team in past years, but his adjusted plus-minus was terrible and it sure seemed as though guys had an easier time scoring on him than in the past.

The numbers indicated Prince has lost it. And if you’ve watched the Pistons consistently this year, you know it, too. But Hollinger is still slow to realize how far Prince has fallen. And I’m sure he’s not the only one.

A lot of people around the league seem to like Prince. There’s a solid chance Dumars is banking on that.

Regular-season vs. playoff PER

For a complete list of Pistons’ regular-season PER compared to their playoff PER since 2001-02, continue after the jump.


Player Year Age Reg. G Reg. MP Reg. PER Playoff PER Diff.
Amir Johnson 07-08 20 62 764 17.5 23.2 5.7
Amir Johnson 08-09 21 62 911 13.5 12.2 -1.3
Antonio McDyess 04-05 30 77 1797 17.2 16.9 -0.3
Antonio McDyess 05-06 31 82 1733 15.5 17.9 2.4
Antonio McDyess 06-07 32 82 1729 18.1 11.9 -6.2
Antonio McDyess 07-08 33 78 2285 14.1 15.1 1
Antonio McDyess 08-09 34 62 1866 16.6 10.7 -5.9
Arron Afflalo 07-08 22 75 970 10.2 6.7 -3.5
Arron Afflalo 08-09 23 74 1234 8.9 9.8 0.9
Ben Wallace 01-02 27 80 2921 18.6 16.4 -2.2
Ben Wallace 02-03 28 73 2872 17.2 20 2.8
Ben Wallace 03-04 29 81 3050 17.3 18.6 1.3
Ben Wallace 04-05 30 74 2671 17.4 16 -1.4
Ben Wallace 05-06 31 82 2890 17.5 12.3 -5.2
Carlos Arroyo 04-05 25 40 706 10.7 10.6 -0.1
Carlos Delfino 05-06 23 68 726 10.6 -6.7 -17.3
Carlos Delfino 06-07 24 82 1372 12.8 9.6 -3.2
Chauncey Billups 02-03 26 74 2327 20.4 17.9 -2.5
Chauncey Billups 03-04 27 78 2758 18.6 18.8 0.2
Chauncey Billups 04-05 28 80 2866 19 20 1
Chauncey Billups 05-06 29 81 2927 23.4 19 -4.4
Chauncey Billups 06-07 30 70 2533 21.3 18.6 -2.7
Chauncey Billups 07-08 31 78 2522 23.6 20.8 -2.8
Chris Webber 06-07 33 43 1277 16.9 16.8 -0.1
Chucky Atkins 01-02 27 79 2285 14.5 11 -3.5
Chucky Atkins 02-03 28 65 1398 10.1 9.9 -0.2
Clifford Robinson 01-02 35 80 2855 13.5 12 -1.5
Clifford Robinson 02-03 36 81 2825 12.4 9.2 -3.2
Corliss Williamson 01-02 28 78 1701 20 15.4 -4.6
Corliss Williamson 02-03 29 82 2061 15.7 13.2 -2.5
Corliss Williamson 03-04 30 79 1574 14.4 8.7 -5.7
Dale Davis 05-06 36 28 178 9.9 -11.3 -21.2
Dale Davis 06-07 37 46 464 13.2 5.9 -7.3
Damon Jones 01-02 25 67 1083 11.2 11.1 -0.1
Dana Barros 01-02 34 29 582 10.5 1.9 -8.6
Danny Manning 02-03 36 13 89 17.9 3.4 -14.5
Darko Milicic 03-04 18 34 159 6.1 -14.8 -20.9
Darko Milicic 04-05 19 37 254 4.7 3.9 -0.8
Darvin Ham 03-04 30 54 484 8.3 4.1 -4.2
Darvin Ham 04-05 31 47 275 5.6 8.1 2.5
Elden Campbell 03-04 35 65 892 13.8 8.4 -5.4
Elden Campbell 04-05 36 30 340 8.4 5.5 -2.9
Jarvis Hayes 07-08 26 82 1287 13 7.1 -5.9
Jason Maxiell 06-07 23 67 943 14.4 18.5 4.1
Jason Maxiell 07-08 24 82 1768 16.7 15.1 -1.6
Jason Maxiell 08-09 25 78 1408 15.8 21.1 5.3
Jerry Stackhouse 01-02 27 76 2685 19 13.6 -5.4
Jon Barry 01-02 32 82 1985 17.7 15.7 -2
Jon Barry 02-03 33 80 1473 17.9 19.2 1.3
Juan Dixon 07-08 29 17 244 12.4 -12.3 -24.7
Kelvin Cato 05-06 31 4 34 7.7 25.3 17.6
Kwame Brown 08-09 26 58 999 11.5 2.4 -9.1
Lindsey Hunter 03-04 33 33 661 9 7.7 -1.3
Lindsey Hunter 04-05 34 76 1144 9.6 9.2 -0.4
Lindsey Hunter 05-06 35 30 353 10.5 11.1 0.6
Lindsey Hunter 06-07 36 52 745 12.7 2.4 -10.3
Lindsey Hunter 07-08 37 24 215 8.8 8.5 -0.3
Maurice Evans 05-06 27 80 1139 14 22.8 8.8
Mehmet Okur 02-03 23 72 1367 14.7 13.2 -1.5
Mehmet Okur 03-04 24 71 1580 18.3 14.7 -3.6
Michael Curry 01-02 33 82 1912 6.2 9.2 3
Michael Curry 02-03 34 78 1556 5.7 4.7 -1
Mike James 03-04 28 26 512 14.3 10.2 -4.1
Nazr Mohammed 06-07 29 51 773 16.5 52.8 36.3
Rasheed Wallace 03-04 29 22 673 18.8 15.2 -3.6
Rasheed Wallace 04-05 30 79 2687 16.4 15.8 -0.6
Rasheed Wallace 05-06 31 80 2780 17.6 13.1 -4.5
Rasheed Wallace 06-07 32 75 2419 15.7 17.3 1.6
Rasheed Wallace 07-08 33 77 2346 17.2 14.3 -2.9
Rasheed Wallace 08-09 34 66 2123 14.9 13.4 -1.5
Richard Hamilton 02-03 24 82 2639 18.7 16.8 -1.9
Richard Hamilton 03-04 25 78 2772 16.8 19.6 2.8
Richard Hamilton 04-05 26 76 2926 16 13.7 -2.3
Richard Hamilton 05-06 27 80 2825 18.2 15 -3.2
Richard Hamilton 06-07 28 75 2763 18.1 16.4 -1.7
Richard Hamilton 07-08 29 72 2424 18.2 20 1.8
Richard Hamilton 08-09 30 67 2279 16.9 12 -4.9
Rodney Stuckey 07-08 21 57 1081 13.8 14.5 0.7
Rodney Stuckey 08-09 22 79 2517 14.8 13.6 -1.2
Rodney White 01-02 21 16 129 11 -33.6 -44.6
Ronald Dupree 04-05 24 47 472 11.8 -1.1 -12.9
Ronald Murray 06-07 27 69 1477 10.8 6.2 -4.6
Tayshaun Prince 02-03 22 42 435 11.7 15.1 3.4
Tayshaun Prince 03-04 23 82 2701 13.3 15.3 2
Tayshaun Prince 04-05 24 82 3039 16.2 13.8 -2.4
Tayshaun Prince 05-06 25 82 2898 14.8 17 2.2
Tayshaun Prince 06-07 26 82 3001 16 13.8 -2.2
Tayshaun Prince 07-08 27 82 2694 15.6 14.1 -1.5
Tayshaun Prince 08-09 28 82 3057 15 0.3 -14.7
Theo Ratliff 07-08 34 16 223 11.6 8.5 -3.1
Tony Delk 05-06 32 23 378 16.1 11.4 -4.7
Victor Alexander 01-02 32 15 97 9.2 -6.6 -15.8
Walter Herrmann 07-08 28 28 199 14 1.6 -12.4
Walter Herrmann 08-09 29 59 630 11.4 26 14.6
Will Bynum 08-09 26 57 803 17.5 21.5 4
Zeljko Rebraca 01-02 29 74 1179 16.2 8.5 -7.7
Zeljko Rebraca 02-03 30 30 488 14 7.5 -6.5

15 Comments

  • Apr 23, 20095:17 pm
    by F7

    Reply

    You can’t base this off of Tayshaun doing bad this year in the playoffs. He was hurt in the last game of the season. He’s not playing to his potential as a result.

    I can’t count the number of times he has whenced in pain after plays or during them.

    He did play deep into the playoffs last year and he went to the Olympics.

    Most of those numbers don’t prove anything and seem situation based as opposed to a trend.

  • Apr 23, 20095:20 pm
    by F7

    Reply

    Furthermore, you referenced Hollinger and his overly stupid numbers. He’s a math geek and puts numbers to everything.

    Of course Tay and Rip numbers are down this year, the entire team as a whole was a lot worse. You think you are smarter than you really are.

  • Apr 23, 20095:50 pm
    by Dan Feldman

    Reply

    Tayshaun being hurt is one of the main things I’m talking about. There’s strong evidence he can no longer be relied upon to play well for a full season, including the playoffs.

    Prince has played in 82 regular-season games the last six years. And he has played in 116 playoff games in his career. Tack on four years at Kentucky and the Olympics, and it’s no wonder he’s worn out.

    What makes you think he can play to his potential again? After that Orlando series six years ago, we’ve been waiting for him to take the next step. He improved since then, but now he appears to be on the decline. He never reached that All-Star level like it appeared he could.

    And I’m comparing Rip and Tayshaun’s playoff number to their regular-season numbers, not their production in past season.

    So, yes, the team was down this year. But those guys have been far down in this post-season relative to this regular season. They started low, and they’ve sunk even lower.

  • Apr 23, 20097:37 pm
    by F7

    Reply

    Well I think his role (over all of his years ) on the team has stunted his growth. When Rip was out early on this year, and Tay played more minutes he was more productive. But he still isn’t a primary option, though I don’t know if he should be on this team.

    Either way, I just started reading your blog, thanks for providing it.

  • Apr 23, 20097:46 pm
    by Zack Slabotsky

    Reply

    Nice points Dan. I wrote about this very topic a while back (http://countthatbabyandafoul.blogspot.com/2008/12/two-step-path-to-contention.html), but it seems more relevant now than ever. The trade scenarios were developed before I could account for this season’s production, but I think the principles still hold.

  • Apr 23, 20098:20 pm
    by Dan Feldman

    Reply

    F7, I half agree. I think Prince’s role has definitely hurt him offensively.

    But what about defensively? He was asked to guard the superstars of the league, and his ability to do that well has shrunk. That’s what concerns me most. I can’t find any logical reason for that drop.

    And I hope you look the blog. Keep the comments coming. I love these discussions.

  • Apr 23, 20098:36 pm
    by Dan Feldman

    Reply

    Zack, I’m not sure if I agree about Prince not fitting in Curry’s system. Detroit was 29th in pace this year, hardly a fastbreak team. But the point about Prince having value (hopefully for the Pistons) still holds true.

    This is a bit of a stab in the dark. But what about Prince to Golden State for Jamal Crawford or Corey Maggette and maybe another small piece?

  • Apr 24, 20091:36 am
    by John Galt

    Reply

    The PER rewards players who

    1. play a lot of minutes
    2. Score a lot of points on very few shots.

    If you don’t play much or never have the ball passed to you on offense your PER will be very low.

    However if you look at basketball-reference.com offensive and defensive rating you get a slightly different picture.

    Offensive Rating followed by Defensive Rating 2008-09

    Johnson – Reg Season 120-105 Playoffs 203-119
    Maxiell – Reg Season 120-108 Playoffs 165-122
    McDyess – Reg Season 115-104 Playoffs 92-112
    Wallace – Reg Season 107-103 Playoffs 122-119
    Brown – Reg Season 106-105 Playoffs 80-119
    Prince – Reg Season 110-110 Playoffs 60-123
    Hamilton – Reg Season 108-112 Playoffs 94-121
    Stuckey – Reg Season 104-110 Playoffs 98-126
    Bynum – Reg Sesason 103-109 Playoffs 102-114
    Afflalo – Reg Season 107-110 Playoffs 99 – 122

    The main difference between the PER and the offensive and defensive rating numbers are

    1. The PER rewards invidual play on offense only. It disregards defense
    2. The PER does not take into accout how the player you are guarding does
    3. The PER does not take into account how your team does when you are on the court
    4. The PER rewards those who play more minutes whereas the the Off and Def Ratings are minutes nuetral

    The PER is basically an offensive and rebounding statistic that is based upon the numbers that a player puts up in those categories and ignores how the player that you are guarding does against you and ignores how your team does when you are on the court.

    The Offensive and Defensive Ratings are more meaningful than the PER.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/a/afflaar01.html

  • Apr 24, 200910:51 am
    by brgulker

    Reply

    @ Dan:

    Two things I can’t help but wonder after reading this, one an argument for keeping Tay, the other an argument for trading him.

    1) This season, barring a miracle that won’t happen, we’re getting bounced from the Playoffs after only 4 games. That hasn’t happened in Tay’s career.

    Is it possible that a long offseason — the first he’ll ever have had — could rejuvinate his aching body? Heck, maybe the guy’s hurt a lot worse than he or the staff have let on — we don’t really know. Maybe a summer off does wonders for him.

    2) CB has clearly been rejuvinated after being traded to Denver, his home town. The CB we’ve seen against N.O. this year is not the same CB that Detroit saw in the ECF the past several seasons.

    It seems that the trade was good for both of us. CB is thriving, and I’ve loved watching it.

    And although we don’t yet know what AI’s cap space will turn into, but there is reason to be optimistic. A lot of teams will be scrambling to get under the shrinking/holding salary cap, and we’re one of the only teams with a big chunk of financial flexibility.

    Clearly, Tay has trade value (as long as other GM’s ignore your blog!), and his contract’s not unreasonable. Isn’t it possible that we could get one or even two better players (who have bigger contracts) for a quality player like Tay (who has a reasonable contract)?

    Obviously, you would agree he’s gone next season — but what do you think we can get for him?

    And, do you think he’s traded this summer? Or, does Joe wait to see what the summer does for him?

  • Apr 24, 20092:19 pm
    by Steve

    Reply

    Good article. I enjoy reading your blog.

    I’ve thought the same things this season. Tayshaun is getting completly destroyed by LeBron in this series. Yeah, yeah he’s injured, but still.

    But Tayshaun for Jamal Crawford or Corey Maggette? Yikes. Crawford is a born loser and jacks up shots like crazy, and Maggette has a ridiculousy large contract.

    I’m all for trading Tayshaun for Bosh, if possible. Maybe Tay+Amir+Sharpe+picks for Bosh. Will it be enough? I don’t know.

    Here’s a though though: What about signing Ron Artest? That guy is still very good defensively, has the size to check Lebron & Pierce, would be cheap, and can play the 3 different positions.

  • Apr 24, 20092:55 pm
    by Zack Slabotsky

    Reply

    The Pistons were 29th in pace, but I think they would shoot up that list if Curry had his druthers. The problem is that Rasheed, Tayshaun, and McDyess are almost exclusively halfcourt players. If those players leave the team, I’d imagine the Pistons will try to push the tempo.
    As far as the Golden State idea, I don’t think either of the guys you named is the type of player Joe Dumars targets. Crawford is a shoot-first player and a horrific defender. Meanwhile, Maggette has developed a reputation as one of the most selfish players in the league. He’s an extraordinary talent (he gets to the FT line as well as anyone), but he averaged fewer than two assists per game this season. It’s not going to be easy to find a workable trade, but unless Biedrins or Randolph is made available, I think Dumars can do much better than anything GS has to offer. Also, could you really imagine Don Nelson and Prince co-existing? Their styles are polar opposites.

  • Apr 24, 20093:32 pm
    by Brian

    Reply

    Tay will be on the hook for a little over 21 million these next two years, and at this stage of his career, I’m not even sure if he is a starter in this league. On a real good team, I could see him as a perfect bench player. A guy who can play multiple positions, bring the ball up the court, high bball IQ, and a good defender historically. But, his salary is too expensive to put him in that role. I fear we are kind of stuck with him in this role b/c only an idiotic GM would take him and that salary when he is a below average starter-at best- in this league. He would be a great bench player, but with the cap, who could afford that?

    And, to whoever was questioning Hollinger, his stats are mostly gold. Their will always be some problems with stats, but for the most part, they are very indicative of a player’s level of play for that season. MLB has some great stats, and slowly, the NBA and NHL are trying to catch up. The NFL, in that regard is a little behind the other sports, particularly with offensive lineman stats, and defensive stats.

  • Apr 24, 20097:04 pm
    by Brian

    Reply

    I was looking through that Basketball Reference page, and what is funny is that Ben Wallace had the best defensive rating of all time in 2003-2004, and he didn’t even win the NBA defensive player of the year, that year.

  • [...] Wallace and Antonio McDyess are free agents. Tayshaun Prince fits the profile of players Dumars dumps. And this info from Chris Broussard of ESPN indicates Richard Hamilton’s [...]

  • Apr 27, 20094:47 pm
    by zork

    Reply

    Poster above who said to get Artest is right. He owns James, because he is strong and wide enough to stop James’ bull rush, the foundation of his game.

  • Leave a Reply

    Your Ad Here