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Over-valuing youth: Detroit Pistons fans should avoid making the same mistake with Austin Daye that they did with Rodney Stuckey

Rodney Stuckey is a solid NBA player. He’d be a rotation player on any team and he’s a starting-caliber player on some poor teams.

And typically, for a mid-first-round, non-lottery pick, that would be better than good. Other guys picked at Stuckey’s spot (No. 15 in the draft) in recent years: Cedric Simmons, Antoine Wright, Reece Gaines, Bostjan Nachbar and Steven Hunter, to name a few. It doesn’t mean that really good players are never found in the middle of the first round, it just means it’s rare. There are as many guys who are busts as there are guys who are versatile, rotation players. So Stuckey represents tremendous value based on where he was picked.

But unfortunately, ‘solid’ isn’t good enough for him, and that is not Stuckey’s fault. The Pistons organization put ridiculous expectations on him by anointing him as a future All-Star when he only had a handful of NBA games under his belt, deeming him ready to take over as the leader of a playoff team in his second year and giving away their best player, Chauncey Billups, who was still productive at the time, to clear more minutes for the untested Stuckey.

Stuckey has been decent at times, spectacular on occasion and dreadful every once in a while, which is pretty common for most solid but not great players. But the team’s expectations for what he could become haven’t materialized, giving Stuckey undue pressure that guys from small colleges picked in the middle of the first round typically don’t have to deal with.

And I’m starting to think that many who follow the team have learned nothing from that experience of overvaluing potential rather than focusing on the tangible. Check out this Tweet from Pistons.com writer Keith Langlois during last night’s Pistons-Suns game:

Don’t have to watch Daye too long to grasp that 3, 4 years from now, there’s a kid who could be a top-10 scorer in the NBA.

Langlois’ point is not the first time I’ve heard a Pistons writer or fan express a similar sentiment. DetroitPCB trumpets Daye’s potential frequently in the comments. Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News also has parroted Daye’s virtues pretty reliably this season. I just don’t understand the need to get so far ahead of ourselves simply because a kid is long and has a nice jumpshot.

In the last five seasons, scoring averages for the 10th place scorer have ranged from a low of 23.1 points per game to a high of 25.1 points per game. I realize Daye has been given really limited minutes and his spot in the rotation has never really been figured out. But he’s also never scored 20 points in a NBA regular season game. He’s scored in double figures in only 17 of 93 career games.

Again, he has rarely been given big enough minutes to expect major scoring outputs whenever he steps on the court, but he’s also done precious little to suggest he’s going to become one of the most prolific scorers in the league, as Langlois suggests he could easily become down the road. In the last five years, only 22 different players have finished in the top 10 in scoring. A few are guys who are going to fall off soon due to age — Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce, Joe Johnson and Dirk Nowitzki for example. But LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Chris Bosh, Danny Granger, Monta Ellis, Chris Paul and Amar’e Stoudemire are nine guys who virtually yearly locks to be in the top 10 in scoring and are all still in their 20s. Plus, there are young prolific scorers like Blake Griffin, Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans and John Wall knocking at that door. And unlike Daye, most of those players showed from the minute they stepped in the NBA that they had potential to be volume scorers. To think that he can suddenly join that group of names just seems way too optimistic a prediction.

This isn’t meant on a knock on Daye at all. He’s a good shooter, he finishes well, he has a mid-range game and a couple of go-to moves and a nice array of release points as he gets to the basket that he’s comfortable using to get shots off. But expecting that he’s going to turn into one of the best scorers in the league is simply putting undue pressure on a player who was also a mid-first round pick for a reason — strength and durability are still question marks, and he’s not a very good defender right now, although his length certainly affords him the ability to bother shots.

Truth be told, Pistons fans should be thrilled if Daye, who like Stuckey was picked 15th overall, simply turns into a rotation player. Since 2000, Al Jefferson and Stuckey are the only two No. 15 overall picks who even average double figure scoring in their careers. It’s not impossible to find above average starting-caliber players outside the lottery or later, but it’s also not easy.

Daye represents value if he’s able to provide competent minutes on a consistent basis. He might become much more valuable than simply a solid NBA player, and I certainly hope he does. But it’s completely unreasonable to expect that he’ll become an elite scorer minus any evidence other than circumstantial opinions about his potential and a good preseason/summer league run.

The fact is, few modern era elite scorers failed to crack their team’s rotation as rookies. The only cases I can really think of are guys like Gilbert Arenas or Michael Redd, who were second round picks and thus had a tougher road to playing time than first rounders early in their careers. Dirk Nowitzki averaged single digits his rookie year in Dallas and Kevin Martin also did in Sacramento, but both of those players also were reliable rotation players with consistent minutes by the start of their second seasons. Daye was out of the rotation most of his rookie season and he’s yet to earn consistent playing time from Pistons coaches this season.

There are probably plenty of explanations for that — I know some chalk it up to incompetence of the coaching staff or Daye being a casualty of the team being stuck with a veteran roster of guys that need to play in order to be showcased for trades. Maybe there’s some legitimacy to those reasons, maybe there’s not. But overall, Daye has had precious little actual production that shows he’s capable of becoming the major scorer many think he should become.

The Pistons made it damn near impossible for Stuckey to succeed in Detroit because of unrealistic expectations they themselves created for him by constantly harping on his potential. They need Daye to turn into a major player because the organization has assembled a bad roster with little flexibility, thus making it imperative that the young players on the team make dramatic improvements. But just because people in the front office are banking on that improbable level of improvement, just like they were with Stuckey, doesn’t mean it’s a fair expectation that Daye will become that type of impact player.

42 Comments

  • Jan 1, 20111:13 pm
    by qm22

    Reply

    I agree with the gist of not overvaluing Daye until he is more tested, but I think you are writing Stuckey off. His production is above average for his position and not all of his struggles (or the teams) rest on him.
    Stuckey is in a terrible position for a PG. Given the roster, coaching, and chemistry, I do not think there are many PGs except the extremely good ones who would have good seasons here. And I sure that any all-star PG we could substitute for Stuckey this season would have a big drop off in their stats.
    The chemistry is not there for Stuckey to do much more than he is already doing. Rip and Tay treat Stuckey like they treated AI. Overall the team lacks hustle, and lacks finishers. I think this may be the worst position of any starting PG in the NBA.
    Regardless Stuckey always gets the blame because of being Chauncey’s replacement.

  • Jan 1, 20111:31 pm
    by Jeremy

    Reply

    Langlois often provides insightful information, given his access to the team, but his homer logic can be picked apart all day. I like both your point and your post, however.
     
    I hope the team gets sold soon. Doesn’t seem like it will though, does it? Things aren’t really going to turn around until that happens.

  • Jan 1, 20111:42 pm
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    as i recall, after the draft when Daye was taken, GM’s were polled on what player might be the surprise of the draft and the largest percentage picked Daye.

    coming in, the Pistons knew Daye was going to have to build strength. they knew his first year would be a wash – and it was. JJ, a second round pick showed he was far more ready for the physical nature and speed of NBA play.

    but Daye came back over the summer ready to play. he won a job in training camp and then had it taken away from him by a coaching staff that does not know their ass from a hole in the ground.

    This kid is smooth, has great length, has 3 point range, has a dribble pull-up, has a handle, can finish at the basket, sees the floor, has good hands, is unselfish, makes the extra pass, boxes out, rebounds very well for a two guard or small forward, runs the floor, and yes, lacks a little lateral quickness and will be defensively challenged when paired with certain players. so what.

    GIVE THIS KID SOME MINUTES AND HE WILL MAKE EVERYONE FORGET ABOUT PRINCE.

  • Jan 1, 20111:45 pm
    by jack

    Reply

    I still dont like the idea of having McGrady being forced tobring the ball up the court consistently. So maybe having stucky on with him and switching tmac to Point forward role whilst still getting 28 to 30 minutes is not a bad idea. Tracy in the halfcourt set is pistons best/creative player so stucky still has a use if he just learns to control his shot selection.

  • Jan 1, 20111:50 pm
    by jack

    Reply

    If Day is gonna get any minutes Prince has to be traded. Right now Prince is a better player and the Pistons need to play him to be able to show case him. It seems mcgrady has now being moved to the one so that should leave some minutes for day, but it is in crumbs.

  • Jan 1, 20112:00 pm
    by qm22

    Reply

    Actually Daye is a better shooter and better chemistry/hustle guy than Prince this year. Daye also has a better +/- than Prince by a small amount. The only thing is he sometimes makes goofs like foul trouble, but he is supposed to.
    We would be better off playing Daye over Prince for the present and the future.

  • Jan 1, 20112:35 pm
    by jack

    Reply

    Dumars  needs to get his trade hat on.To a degree mcgrady’s resurgence has made things even more difficult rotation. If Tmac was a bust, you could pretty much burry him on the end of the  bench and allow both Prince and Austin split the SF minutes, but at this point there will be nights where Tmac  and Prince will share the minutes at the SF.

  • Jan 1, 20112:50 pm
    by gordbrown

    Reply

    qm22 had already made the point I was going to make. To put this another way, a starting lineup of Stuckey, Hamilton, Prince, Maxiell and Wallace has two reliable weapons and two players you don’t even need to guard. In contrast, a starting lineup of McGrady, Gordon, Prince, CV and Wallace has four reliable scorers and only one player you don’t have to guard. Which lineup has been more effective (prior to last night) and in contrast which lineup have we seen the most? Based on performance to date, I might suggest a rotation of Stuckey, Gordon, Prince, Monroe, Wallace with backup minutes by McGrady, Daye and CV. If McGrady can’t go, you can try Bynum and if you need to go deeper for bigs you can use Wilcox if healthy (looking iffy) Hamilton and Maxiell you can trade for some of those mops used to clean the court. See how this lineup responds and use as a base for the future. Having said that, I feel bad for the coaches. On the one hand, they blew the season sticking with a lineup that clearly wasn’t working way too long. On the other hand, when they make changes that make sense and they get a stinker like last night. They honestly can’t anticipate what will happen from game to game, beating the best and then losing to the worst back to back.

  • Jan 1, 20118:34 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    1) it’s just company line homerism.
     
    2) you can’t rightly compare the situations of daye and stuckey, and it’s all a matter of positions. they’re both scorers, but stuckey is being asked to run the offense. if you were asking daye to do that i’d be scared, but they’re only asking him to score. and stuckey’s failure to live up to expectations is positional, too. he’d probably be a fine shooting guard.

  • Jan 1, 20119:00 pm
    by gmehl1977

    Reply

    I think people (pistons people) are making these raw assessments because lets face it…were desperate. Desperate for a superstar we haven’t had since Grant Hill. On the good old superstar ranking system Grant Hill was a 1 where as Stackhouse, Billups, Hamilton, Rasheed and Prince were clearly 2s. I will however state that Big Ben in his prime was very close to a 1. I will give him a 1.8 due to his lack of offense. If he could of at least averaged 15ppg we would of had 3 championships and i guess he would never of left. The only way i think pistons people can see us getting our next superstar is by them falling in our laps. Tough times!

  • Jan 1, 201111:17 pm
    by grizz

    Reply

    Very good article Dan … I just want to be the broken record who keeps saying … why is NO ONE bringing up the point that Stuckey was primarily a shooting guard in college … and even during his first games here with the Pistons .. while Billups was PG .. Stuckey was  a shooting guard … BIG MISTAKE to force him to play out of position … Putting Stuck back at SG …  would be a good idea EXCEPT for the DUMARS created logjam at SG …. IT didnt have to be like this … Bad GM descisions .. trading Billups for Crap .. when 1 or 2 more years of Billups would have helped developing young players like Stuckey..

  • Jan 2, 20111:22 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Laser:
    The point isn’t to say that I think one or both can’t succeed to some extent. I just find it strange how excited people get about mid and late first round picks. The reality is many just don’t turn out to be very good. I just wish people would root for guys like Stuckey and Daye to become decent players first before they go on with the hyperbolic projections.
    Daye can certainly score. But to me, as a 15 pick, if he averages 14 or 15 a game, that’s a successful pick. I don’t understand the need to say “he could be one of the top 10 scorers in the NBA.”

  • Jan 2, 20111:25 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @DetroitPCB:
    “as i recall, after the draft when Daye was taken, GM’s were polled on what player might be the surprise of the draft and the largest percentage picked Daye.”
    I didn’t say Daye lacked upside. But Qyntel Woods had upside and was once considered a post-lottery steal as well. I mean, we haven’t even seen Daye be very good yet (not that he doesn’t sometimes do good things or play hard, because he does). Way add the pressure of saying “he could be a 20 ppg scorer?” Like I said above, if he only gets to 15 or so a game in his career, doesn’t that still make him a solid player and a good pick where he was selected?

  • Jan 2, 20111:27 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @gmehl:
    I would say Wallace and Billups were both elite players. I think both of those guys were able to impact a game more than Grant Hill, or at least pretty even with him.

  • Jan 2, 20111:31 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @qm22:
    “I think you are writing Stuckey off. His production is above average for his position and not all of his struggles (or the teams) rest on him.”
    I’m not writing him off at all. However, his production as a point guard was not above average for his position until this season statistically speaking. In previous seasons, he was below average among starting PGs. This season, I believe he’s slightly above as his numbers have improved incrementally each year he’s been in the league.
    I just think Stuckey’s future in this league will not be as any team’s primary point guard. He’ll certainly play some point. But the role I see him absolutely killing it in someday is a combo guard off the bench for a good team. He’d get 30ish minutes a game backing up both positions, be free to roam offensively, push the pace and attack and I still think he has the physical tools to be an exceptional defensive guard in this league if he embraces that side of the ball.

  • Jan 2, 20111:31 am
    by Tony

    Reply

    Daye will be an upgrade over Prince….eventually, but a more pressing need at PG should be addressed like maybe draft one, and maybe it should be MaCallum Jr. and move Stuckey to SG his natural position.  You’d think Joe D. would know since he played with a HOF PG how to recognize one.  Stuckey is way more valuable to the team at SG than Hamilton or Gordon so maybe trade those guys along with Prince and play the 7′ center you drafted!  Figuring out what Kuester and Dumars are trying to do is baffling.

  • Jan 2, 20111:33 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Jeremy:
    “Langlois often provides insightful information, given his access to the team, but his homer logic can be picked apart all day.”
    My point was not to pick on Langlois. His Tweet was just the most blatant example of a trend among both many writers and fans to get too excited too early about “upside” players. As I said in the post, Vincent Goodwill has written at least a few articles and columns this season stumping for Daye and his potential as well. Langlois certainly isn’t the only culprit.

  • Jan 2, 20111:39 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @qm22:
    “We would be better off playing Daye over Prince for the present and the future.”
    That’s an easy call from a fan’s perspective. But from the team perspective, that’s never going to happen. Prince is still a decent enough NBA player. He’s one of the smartest players in the league and, most importantly, unlike many of the players on the roster, he’s contributed to winning teams. I know and understand there is an impatience among fans to see guys like Daye get big minutes at the expense of Prince, but it’s also easy to understand why the organization would want to continue playing someone like Prince, hoping his savvy and knowledge of the game rubs off on the younger guys. I’m an advocate of not handing young guys prominent roles unless they are absolute studs off the bat like Griffin, Wall, etc. I think it serves players like Daye better in the long run if they have to do everything possible to win that position and make it clear beyond a shadow of a doubt in practices that they are the better option.
    And secondly, benching Prince when the team is probably trying to trade him can’t help his value. He’s played fairly well of late. Hopefully he keeps that up and entices another team to give something of value, either picks or young prospects, for him.

  • Jan 2, 20111:41 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @gordbrown:
    “Hamilton and Maxiell you can trade for some of those mops used to clean the court.”
    Hamilton and Maxiell will not be traded in salary dump type trades. The Pistons would love to do it. But what incentive right now would any team have to take on their expensive contracts when neither guy is currently living up to what his paycheck is? The unfortunate truth is the Pistons are stuck with both guys unless they take back other bad contracts in return.

  • Jan 2, 20111:46 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @grizz:
    I actually wrote this one, Dan is off weeping into his soup somewhere down south after traveling to watch his Wolverines bid farewell to Rich Rod in style today.
    As for your point about Stuckey, the Pistons felt like he’d be more valuable as a point guard because of his athletic/physical tools. There are only a handful of PGs in the league with Stuckey’s mix of size, quickness and athleticism.
    It’s fairly common for teams to experiment like that. The best example is Russell Westbrook in OKC. He didn’t really play a position at UCLA, he was just an athlete. OKC converted him to PG and he’s developed into one of the better young players in the league. Philly did it with Jrue Holliday, who played off the ball next to Darren Collison in college, and having some success.
    I think it’s pretty obvious Stuckey didn’t develop as the Pistons would’ve liked, but I can definitely understand why they tried to make the conversion.

  • Jan 2, 20111:47 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Tony:
    Haha … I love Ray Mac. Watched him play quite a bit covering HS hoops and I thought he should’ve been Mr. Basketball last year over Appling.
    I think he’ll hang around at U of D at least one more year though to try and help his dad get the team to the tourney and make a Butler-like run.

  • Jan 2, 20111:49 am
    by Laser

    Reply

    ok so my first point is the important one; it’s just keith langlois homer hype.
     
    ironically enough, the guy just answered a question a few mailbags ago about the stuckey hype and how he’s been a disappointment. he said the problem was that expectations were too high… but the organization set those expectations with the premature all-star babble, and history seems to be repeating itself.

  • Jan 2, 20112:16 am
    by Tony

    Reply

    @Patrick:  I think that if he wants to do a D. Rose and play for his home town team this would be his best chance since the Pistons will definitely have the players and the pick after this train wreck of a season, maybe even enough so to obtain a late first rounder along with a lottery pick though I haven’t a clue as to what Joe would do with it or if he’ll still be there after the sale.

  • Jan 2, 20112:54 am
    by gmehl1977

    Reply

    @Patrick
    Yeah i am not saying Wallace and Billups weren’t elite players in their prime but Grant Hill in his prime (pre-injury of coarse) was something special. He was a triple double ready to happen on any given night and is as close to a superstar the pistons have had since Isiah Thomas. Not taking anything away from Wallace and Billups of coarse. Anyways the point i was making is that this is why pistons people are making such way off predictions on Stuckey and Daye.

  • Jan 2, 20115:49 am
    by grizz

    Reply

    apologies Patrick .. you wrote this article .. my bad .. thank you once again for the continuing good articles …

  • Jan 2, 201110:41 am
    by gordbrown

    Reply

    Patrick. I have not doubt that your assessment of Pistons trade possibilities is accurate and sadly so. My thought was more along the lines of playing Hamilton and Maxiel at this point is hurting the team both in the long term and in the short term. Both of them but especially Hamilton should have some value somewhere. But their performances so far this season haven’t really demonstrated that. I still feel Hamilton, if motivated and in the right situation, could be a factor. But I’m afraid never again with the Pistons.

  • Jan 2, 20111:10 pm
    by Mike Payne

    Reply

    @Patrick,
    Really nice write-up.  I’ve always been pessimistic about Rodney Stuckey, and you’re right that we fans should practice patience with Daye and not get ahead of ourselves with lofty expectations.  All well said!
    @gmehl1977:
    “Yeah i am not saying Wallace and Billups weren’t elite players in their prime but Grant Hill in his prime (pre-injury of coarse) was something special.”
     
    This is probably better suited to its own separate discussion, but it’s pretty unreal just how special Wallace and Billups were, even more so than a guy like Grant Hill.  Chauncey and Ben were both once-in-a-generation type players on their respective ends of the court.  Chauncey’s impact on a team’s offense was immeasurable yet incredible.  He did so much for a team’s play that went un-recorded, the same types of high IQ intangibles that Ben Wallace brings to a team’s defense.
    Look at both players’ seasonal offense/defense ratings, for example.  In the all-time records of Offensive Ratings, Chauncey has six seasons in the top 250, including two in the top 15.  On the defensive side of the court, Ben Wallace had eight seasons in the top 250 Defensive Ratings, including the best season in recorded history of the NBA– the 2003/04 season.
    Grant Hill may have been a special player individually, but both Chauncey Billups and Ben Wallace are truly once-in-a-generation talents for what they do on a team level, for running a team’s offense and defense, respectively.  In the 64-year history of the NBA, those types of talents may be more than rare, but singular.  A player like Ben Wallace, for example, might not ever come to this league again.  A player like Grant Hill, however, is arguably more common.

  • Jan 2, 20112:37 pm
    by israelpiston

    Reply

    If the pistons really want to trade maxiel  they need to put together some film of him covering dwight howard. He did an excellent job every time we played orlando.
    Some smart team will realize that he can stop Howard for short periods of time
     

  • Jan 2, 20112:48 pm
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    I see that Ben Gordon & CV both were sniping at the coaches after the loss to Phoenix. Something like “we need to make adjustments and not simply run the same play all game. anybody can stop that”

    how about an article on all the games this coaching staff has lost this year?

  • Jan 2, 20115:35 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @israelpiston:
    Maybe you’re right that Maxiell has defended Howard well on occasion. But is that worth paying $10 million to have him on the roster for two more seasons after this one when he does precious little else well?

  • Jan 2, 20115:36 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @PCB:
    Eh, I dunno. I don’t think anyone is under any illusion that Kuester is a good coach right now.
    But in his defense, his quotes after the PHX game suggested the roster lacks toughness, and while I agree with Gordon’s and Villanueva’s comments, I certainly agree with Kuester’s as well. The coach is a problem. I don’t think he’s the biggest problem though.

  • Jan 2, 20115:58 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    wasn’t dumars going to do something about this toughness and grit?? if he carried out his stated mission after last year, he must have analyzed everyone and they all passed his toughness and grit test. wtf. how can this fanbase be expected to accept this??

  • Jan 2, 20117:31 pm
    by Ryan

    Reply

    Pg- Stuckey(32) bynum(4)
    sg- Gordon (30) Hamilton(26)
    Sf- Prince(32) McGrady (27)
    Pf- V (30) Daye (13)
    C- Wallace (26) Monroe(14) Wilcox(6)
     
    The Pistons really need a set rotation, I understand after trying to make one with only 240 minutes its difficult to play everybody certain amounts, But they need a rotation and to stick with it.

  • Jan 2, 20119:01 pm
    by gmehl1977

    Reply

    @Mike Payne
    Yeah i know its a little off the Stuckey/Daye discussion but it was more just my reason as to why people are building build those 2 guys up. One thing i never said though was that Hill was better than Wallace or Billups. Wallace and Billups have been my 2 favorite players over the last 10 years and you can just imagine how hard it was for me when both were gone due to silly GM decisions. Lucky the GM was my favorite player for so many years throughout the late 80s early 90s. Anyways you can just imagine how a healthy Grant Hill would of slotted in with Billups and Wallace.

  • Jan 3, 20111:52 am
    by jack

    Reply

    I think Ryan is right. The Pistons are all over the shop interms of a bonafide rotation. McGrady needs tyo be out their atleast 30 minutes a night because he is the most creative player out there. With him you know you will get others wide open looks. Prince nees to see his minutes limited Hamilton the same.

  • Jan 3, 20111:57 am
    by jack

    Reply

    The Pistons should really look at a trade for Josh Smith. The Hawks need cap reliefe fast and they also need a legit  SF in Princes mold. Maybe a Prince+Maxile for Smith?

    Stucky
    Gordon
    McGrady
    Smith
    Wallace. This frees up minutes for day to backup tmac and allows the PAistons to get a bnorderline franchise player.

    It gives the hawk some cap breathing room and Prince allows JJ to be more assertive on offense with a wing defender by his side.

  • Jan 3, 20119:08 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Jack:

    Josh Smith is a fantastic player. He’d be a great addition to the Pistons or any team.

    Unfortunately, there is no way Atlanta would accept that trade. None.

    First of all, I’m not so sure they need a small forward. They have Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams signed long-term on the wings. They also have Jamal Crawford signed through the end of this season and he backs up both spots, as well as a first round pick from this year, Jordan Crawford, who can play either SG or SF.

    Secondly, Jason Maxiell is not good. He’s not good and he’s owed roughly $13 million over the the rest of this season and the final two years of his contract.

    If Atlanta really were shopping Smith, and I’m not even convinced they are unless a team is willing to take back one of their bad contracts with him (like Williams or Mike Bibby), other teams will offer significantly more in terms of cap relief, young cheap players or picks in return.

    If the Pistons were seriously pursuing Smith, it would cost them at least Prince, probably Monroe or Daye, and probably a future pick or two as well.

  • Jan 3, 20117:33 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    max isn’t bad. i think he could be a rather ideal fourth big man on a highly competitive team, and his contract isn’t prohibitive. i just don’t think many people would give you much for him. so i’m sure you can unload him, but you probably can’t get much in return. also, with such depth issues up front, we can’t rightly afford to unload him for nothing.
     
    don’t forget the celtics offered big baby for max right before extending him.

  • Jan 3, 201110:04 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Laser:
    That was a couple years ago. Maxiell’s production, per-minute or otherwise, has gone down quite a bit over the last two seasons.

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