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Pistons roundtable: Rodney Stuckey’s long-term value and importance

3. I asked this question last year, but I’m not sure the answer is any clearer, so I’ll ask again. Rodney Stuckey has been a key part of the Pistons’ long-term plans. Should that status change?

Dave Hogg, Associated Press freelancer

No. He doesn’t think like a point guard, and he isn’t a good enough shooter to be an outstanding 2. Is there a chance that working with the right coach could turn him into a point? Sure. I don’t think the Pistons are in a position to take that chance.

Dave Pemberton, The Oakland Press

The Pistons have a huge decision to make this offseason in regards to Stuckey since he is a restricted free agent. To re-sign Stuckey the Pistons will have to give him at minimum a five year, $40 million deal, which is the deal Memphis gave Mike Conley. Everything is subject to the new CBA, but that likely won’t be enough. Stuckey could command as much as $10 million a season or could find a team willing to give him even more than that. Detroit needs to decide if Stuckey is worth that long-term commitment.

If I was running the show, I would go as high as $9 million a season because Stuckey has shown he can be a very productive NBA player at both guard positions. The problem for Detroit is it doesn’t have any real alternative at point guard if Stuckey leaves. Tracy McGrady is gone at the end of the season and Will Bynum is best served as an energy point guard off the bench. Odds are the Pistons will re-sign Stuckey, and the only question is will they overpay for him?

Jamie Samuelsen, Detroit Free Press

Sometimes, we act on what we’re told rather than what we see. We were told that “Avatar” was a great movie. Then we saw it, and it was awful. So what was it? We were told that it was good, so we tended to overrate it (Oscar nomination … billions worldwide).

I think Rodney Stuckey is Avatar. Well … that’s not fair. He’s better than Avatar. But because he played pretty well in the 2008 playoffs and because Joe Dumars singled him out as virtually untouchable in the immediate aftermath, we’ve viewed him through rose-colored glasses ever since.

But when you really watch him, you see what he is. He’s a good player. He’s got the ability – at times – to take over games. But he’s not an All-Star. He’s not a franchise player. And there have been times this year when he hasn’t even been one of the top two guards on the roster.

So really, the talk about Stuckey makes no sense. The Pistons shouldn’t just dump him. But if the right offer comes along, they should certainly listen. Stuckey is finishing his fourth season in the league. He’s had some obstacles along the way and he’s played for three different coaches. But most guards make their impact by their fourth season, and Stuckey’s overall impact remains minimal.

Justin Rogers, MLive.com

Stuckey has a lot of flaws, but is a above-average basketball player who has improved every season.  It would be foolish to consider him untouchable, but it would be bad business to let him walk away in free agency and get nothing in return. 

Mike Payne, Detroit Bad Boys

I was hoping his status as a "key part" of the Pistons future would have already changed.  Last year, I suggested the he should be moved now in hopes of bringing back some value elsewhere.  If he couldn’t be moved, I thought he might thrive in a bench role as an on-the-ball sixth man at either guard position.  I still do.  The thing is, since he’s scored a lot of points in the last two years, he’ll likely be overpaid this summer and will be too expensive to be used as a bench player.  I’m hoping that Rodney is not resigned in Detroit, but I would have preferred that he had been traded so the Pistons could have held on to more than just a few million in salary relief.  If we start next season with Rodney starting at the point, it will be very difficult to continue watching this team regularly.

Brian Packey, Detroit Bad Boys

Stuckey has improved this season in some aspects (namely at finishing around the rim and dishing out when it’s not there) and has shown flashes of brilliance at times (the four games before the Spurs game for instance). At the same time, there’s been plenty of frustrating times when he has reverted to the old, not-indicative-of-a-franchise-point-guard Stuckey (turnovers cancelling out low assist numbers, bad mid-range jacks, and out-of-control plows through the lane that yield no rewards). Then there was the whole inexcusable insubordination issue, too.

Depending on the deal, I don’t think keeping Stuckey would be a massive mistake, but, as I said last year, the Pistons should consider what they can get for him (via a sign-and-trade, assuming Detroit is not matching an offer sheet, in which case they can’t sign-and-trade). I’d be disappointed, though, if they let him walk into a deal elsewhere that would’ve been worth matching.

Kevin Sawyer, Detroit Bad Boys

My answer is the same, as he has continued to improve incrementally throughout his career. At the right price, he should be in the plans, because he think he will emerge as something close to a star, and he is young enough to contribute at a high level when the Pistons are more competitive.

But Joe D. has to be willing to run the risk of a bidding war. I think it’s unlikely to materialize, since Stuckey’s scoring numbers are unspectacular. Again, something along the lines of five years at $35 million would be fine by me.

Natalie Sitto, Need4Sheed.com

It’s not that I’m not a fan of Stuckey, but I don’t think he’s a guy to build around. Part of that is his role on the team. Is he a point guard? Can he lead the team? Is he better at the two?

The Pistons have been building around him since Chauncey was shipped to Denver, and we’ve seen the results.  He just hasn’t been consistent enough or gotten over that hump, and the Pistons are in no shape to wait it out.

Ben Gulker, Pistons by the Numbers

I’ve been critical of the Pistons’ evaluation of Stuckey as a "key piece" and "part of the core," and I’ve been very vocal about it.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s not that I think Stuckey is a bad player. I think he’d make a fine third or fourth guard for a playoff team, where his minutes and role could be adaptable to matchups. We’ve seen glimpses of what that could look like this season, when McGrady and Stuckey have been paired together, which has allowed Stuckey exploit his size and strength against smaller defenders.

But is he good enough to be a full-time starter at either guard position? He has yet to prove that to me. If he commands the payday that he seems likely to, I think the Pistons would be better off parting ways. The Pistons simply cannot afford to pay another player big money if he hasn’t clearly established himself as a deserving starter.

Steve Kays, DetroitBasketball.net

It depends in what aspect. At this point he’s not going to be the next Chauncey Billups. But he’s not worthless, either. He is a good combo guard that could start for many teams, but would probably be better coming off the bench like he did in 2007-2008. His stats have alarmingly plateaued – and in some cases gotten worse – over the past three seasons.

But on the other hand, a Pistons team without Stuckey next season would feature guards Will Bynum, Terrico White, Rip Hamilton and Ben Gordon. Those four players all have serious weaknesses in their games. Stuckey is still the team’s best penetrator and perimeter defender. While he isn’t Billups, he could still have a promising future in Detroit. But only at the right price. Anything more than $6 million-$7 million a season seems too much.

I’m much rather have a “true” point guard starting (so many point guards available…), but at the moment Stuckey remains the team’s best option at the 1 spot, especially with Tracy McGrady unlikely to return next season.

Jakob Eich, Bynumite Blog

Yes! Dumars got him as a franchise player. He is not a franchise player.

He could be a great player on a contender. Trade him, get some talent (maybe a real point guard??) and a first-rounder in return. Rip is not tradeable, and the Pistons have a logjam at shooting guard. Try something new. It’s time. It does not have to be a great player Detroit gets in return. I’m just tired of waiting for Stuckey to become great.

He has all the tools, but is he good enough mentally? I don’t mean this in a bad way, but I think it would be better for both parties if they parted.

Dan Feldman, PistonPowered

I hate that the Pistons are in a position where this question is still relevant.

In all likelihood, Rodney Stuckey, who’s still on his rookie contract, will never become a more valuable player than he has been the last few years. The Pistons should have traded him while they could.

Now what?

Do they re-sign him for what will likely be an overpriced contract? Do they let him walk and get nothing in return?

They’re facing a sizable dilemma and the only favorable solution is re-signing Stuckey and hoping he reaches the next level that has eluded him for so long, even if that’s unlikely to happen. I just hope his next contract, if it goes north of $8 million per season, ends before or when Ben Gordon’s and Charlie Villanueva’s do. That way, the payroll will be structured in a way that can end this mess rather than perpetually continuing it.

Patrick Hayes, PistonPowered

It’s a pretty good guess that, if there’s a NBA season next year, Rodney Stuckey will sign the Pistons’ qualifying offer and play next season before heading into unrestricted free agency. That’s probably the best move for both parties at this point. Maybe minus Tayshaun Prince and maybe if Richard Hamilton is moved, Stuckey will finally feel more comfortable taking the leadership role he’s hinted that he wants the past two preseasons. Maybe the Pistons will hire a coach who prefers to play at a faster tempo, which actually complements Stuckey’s skillset better than the pace they’ve played under John Kuester. And maybe the motivation of having to earn a long-term contract with a big season next year is finally what Stuckey will need to put together his immense physical gifts and become the player Joe Dumars thought he had on his hands when he prematurely gave up on Chauncey Billups to hand the team to Stuckey.

With the exception of a couple Stuckey apologists, I don’t think anyone would argue against the fact that the kid has been given about as long a leash as any player to play through mistakes and hold onto his large role on the team over the past three seasons. He’s fallen well short of Dumars’ belief that Stuckey could become a dynamic playmaking force at the PG spot in this league. But on a one-year deal next season at a low cost, Stuckey still has more value to the Pistons than he’d return in a one-for-one trade. Stuckey is still incredibly physically gifted. He’s still young. And because the Pistons aren’t likely to head into this offseason with a whole lot of flexibility, it’s still worth giving Stuckey a look in a prominent role with a (likely) new coach next season.

Previous

37 Comments

  • Mar 16, 20114:27 pm
    by Tim

    Reply

    Seriously Pemberton? You think anyone would offer Stuckey $10M/yr. That’s ridiculous! That kind of money is for people who are perennially on the all-star bubble. Stuckey is not close to that. If he reaches his ceiling, he might be able to be an all-star someday, but it’s no sure thing. And almost no one reaches their ceiling.
    I agree with Feldman. Stuckey’s value was at it’s highest on a rookie contract. Joe D should have been able to deal him this deadline to any playoff-bound team (except maybe Miami) in need of a guard for significant compensation. Now he will only have value if Dumars can sign him to a bargain deal.
    The key to dealing with Stuckey’s situation is to recognize that Detroit does have a lot of guards. Therefore, if Stuckey is resigned, it has to be at such a rate that it would be easy to swap him out to some other team for an expiring contract, preferably with a little bit more thrown in for the Pistons. If Stuckey is signed for $8M or more a year, he will become another millstone and the Pistons will suddenly find themselves with three nearly unmovable guards. Honestly, as long as that situation is avoided, I’ll be happy. Based on his work thus far, I think he should be available for about $6M annually. And at that rate, I’d be happy to keep Stuckey on board. But Joe D has talked him up so much that everyone, including Stuckey and his agent, will probably expect more money than that.
    Dumars, if Stuckey insists on too much, be ready to run away! There are lots of good PGs in the league. He is very replaceable. Just wait until you can get a good player for a bargain. If that is Stuckey, so be it. Otherwise, wait. It’s not like Detroit will be a championship contender for the next couple years anyway.

    • Mar 21, 20111:20 am
      by Pemberton

      Reply

      I think it’s possible Tim. Would I do it? No. Now when I say $10 million a year I mean the average over a multi-year deal, which would likely be backloaded. Stuckey would likely get somewhere between $8-10 million a year under the current CBA, but that’s all subject to change. There might not even be a season next year. If you don’t believe me here is a sample of guys making between $8-11 million. Stuckey would likely fall somewhere in the middle of these guys.

      Jamal Crawford – $10 million
      Kirk Hinrich – $9
      Jason Terry $10 million
      Monta Ellis $11 million
      Kevin Martin $11 million
      TJ Ford $8.5 million
      Mo Williams $9.3 million
      Corey Magette $9.6 million
      John Salmons $8 million
      Jose Calderon $9 million
      Devin Harris $8.9 million

      Ray Allen $10 million
      Rajon Rondo $9 million

  • Mar 16, 20114:42 pm
    by Dan

    Reply

    Worth noting that Chauncey didn’t look like a future All-Star at this point in his career either. In fact, Stuckey’s per-36 numbers for assists, steals, and points are better.

    • Mar 16, 20114:57 pm
      by Mike Payne

      Reply

      Not worth noting at all, Dan.  You’re citing a season where Chauncey only started 33 games and sported a lower usage rate than Stuckey.  Give Chauncey the full season as a starter (which he had the following year for the most part), and Chauncey’s superiority shines through.  It’s completely useless to compare these two players, and comparing these seasons at the same age is junk science.
       
      Chauncey’s 15 points, 7 assists and 40% three point shooting as a starter in the season you’re pointing out shows a hell of a lot more promise than what we’re seeing out of Stuckey this season.

      • Mar 17, 20115:25 am
        by detroitpcb

        Reply

        excuse me, but other than the range on their respective three point shots, Stuckey is a far better player than Chauncy Billips was at the same stage in his career.

        Chauncy benefited from some excellent coaching while he was with the Pistons. Rick & Larry are both coaches who spend lots of time and effort on molding their point guards. Meanwhile Stuckey has had to deal with Curry & Q. What a joke. and you wonder why the kid hasn’t come farther?

    • Mar 16, 20115:12 pm
      by neutes

      Reply

      Also I feel worth noting that Billups was a blue chip high school player, took his Colorado team the deepest they’ve ever been, was a top 3 pick, and then became a perennial all-star and championship winner. Billups was supposed to be that good. Stuckey was just plain hyped up based on physical attributes and insane comparisons.

    • Mar 16, 20115:13 pm
      by Tim

      Reply

      I’m sick of people comparing Stuckey’s career path to Billups. They don’t play very similarly so I don’t know why one would expect their development to go similarly. More importantly, though, Billups was an exception. He bucked the trend. Most players don’t suddenly get good at such a late point in their careers. The fact that Billups did doesn’t mean we should expect the same from Stuckey. Otherwise, we might as well also be clamoring to obtain Marvin Williams and Al Thornton and countless other players who might “turn the corner” any season now.
      No, sometimes you get lucky. Sometimes a player ends up developing late. But I don’t understand why so many people predict that this specific player will do so. Well, I kinda do. It’s because the Pistons brass has been hyping him so much. But that’s not a good reason.

  • Mar 16, 20114:48 pm
    by Mike Payne

    Reply

    Continuing on my point– I say let the market set the value for Stuckey and see what other teams offer.  If he doesn’t receive an offer, give him an MLE level contract with the plans of fixing both starting guard spots in the next few seasons.  If he receives an offer greater than the MLE, call around to other GMs and offer a match-and-trade for Stuckey’s offer.  See what value we could get back.  If we can’t get any value for a match-and-trade, let him sign elsewhere.  Stuckey isn’t worth more than the MLE, especially on a team that will be rebuilding for several years.

    • Mar 16, 20115:16 pm
      by Tim

      Reply

      Agreed. Please let this be what happens. It would start to restore my faith that maybe Dumars is making smart moves again. I’m not holding moves against him for not turning out well. Just the ones that seemed idiotic at the time and still do.

  • Mar 16, 20114:54 pm
    by Michael

    Reply

    This is a depressing post.
    I like and want Stuckey to be the Pistons’ franchise player, but he can’t and never will be – it’s just not in him.
    If it was, he would’ve played at a high level over a longer stretch then 4 or 5 games right? (Hasn’t he only done this a few times in his career as well?)
    If Stuckey is going to be a significant cost that hurts the Pistons future as an organization, then the Pistons should part ways.
    As a fan, I just would like the feeling that the Pistons are at least “rebuilding” and getting better.
     
    Random: Are there any consistent all-stars or significant starters at least in the NBA that blossomed their 5th year as pro?

    • Mar 16, 20115:30 pm
      by Tim

      Reply

      What is amazing though is that, despite Stuckey’s overall mediocrity, this will likely be his first full season in which he does not take home a Player of the Week honor.
      In response to your random question, the best example I can give is Dorell Wright. This is the man’s 7th season. He has never gotten 8ppg before and now he is over 16 ppg. Frye is also a good example. The best example I can think of that didn’t involve changing teams was Jameer Nelson. In 08-09, he finally put it together, became much more efficient, became a much better 3 point shooter, got injured, and has regressed back to how he was before ever since. I know, kid of a buzzkill.

    • Mar 16, 20115:36 pm
      by Tim

      Reply

      Most of the time when someone suddenly improves, it is because they added a new skill to their game. In the 5th year improvements I cited above of Frye and Nelson, it was three point shooting. Rarely do players suddenly become good passers. So I think the same goal would be realistic for Stuckey. If he can learn to shoot the three consistently and accurately, he good become a very good PG (like 08-09 Jameer Nelson with defense). Probably not good enough to be an all-star but that is largely because of just how many great PGs there are in the league. He would be competing in the east with Rose, Williams, Rondo, Billups, Wall, and even Holiday.
      By the way, the length of that list is part of why I say not to even consider overpaying to resign him. There are lots of good PGs. Another will come around if Stuckey costs too much.

  • Mar 16, 20115:00 pm
    by neutes

    Reply

    Pemberton has me worried. I’ll take that whole answer as sarcasm just to feel better about it.
     
    I’m back and forth. Fact is Stuckey does get to the line a lot. He does drive and put pressure on the defense. He also doesn’t dish it out and takes a ridiculous amount of offensive charges. I’m not sure who would draw fouls if Stuckey wasn’t around though. All we have left is a bunch of jump shooters.
     
    I want Stuckey back only under the conditions that he A) isn’t paid a lot; and B) doesn’t let the Pistons assume they have some position locked up. Like well we resigned Stuckey so we’re set at PG now, we can look at other positions to improve. No! Bring Stuckey back at a reasonable price with the intent on eventually putting enough talent in front of him to push him to a 6th man role. If re-signing Stuckey prevents the Pistons from exploring alternatives then I’m out. Let him walk. Although I’m intrigued by Patrick’s idea of seeing if he’ll just sign the qualifying offer. Obviously that would be the best outcome for the Pistons at the moment.

  • Mar 16, 20116:19 pm
    by Red Panda

    Reply

    Resigning Stuckey would be a massive mistake, he can’t play point and BG is better at the two. For the money he’s gonna cost the best move would be to trade him now.

  • Mar 16, 20116:35 pm
    by BIG MARV

    Reply

    well my opinon is that if the pistons go after a good point guard either draft or free agency then I might consider on resigning stuckey, But they have to go after the PG and a good coach FIRST! signing stuckey for 40million is too much money we alredy see how its affecting the team with signing Gordon and Charlie V they paid too much money for underaceheveing players. I think Rodney haven’t did enough to get a deal like that, Mabey sign him to a 3 year deal for 25 million make the 3rd year a option and mabey thrown in some bonuses if he plays well in his term. but if he signs for a big deal and come back as the starting point you midas well call the pistons the Detroit clippers cause they will be hurt for another 10 years get the point first and see what you can do from there in re-signing him.

  • Mar 16, 201110:01 pm
    by qm22

    Reply

    It is strange that people evaluate Stuckey for not leading the team when he has no leadership role-he certainly does not lead in shot attempts and the veterans are the captains still.
    1. Stuckey is easily the leader in PER at Detroit despite a crazy season as a team that negatively impacted him.
    2. Stuckey and Hamilton and Prince have zero chemistry and that is not all on Stuckey.
    3. Stuckey is the best defensive guard on the team.
    4. If Stuckey is moved, would that mean someone else gets significant blame finally?

    That makes one wonder why all the constant talk is blaming Stuckey when he has not had a decent coach or team around him. He’s the best player on the team. What kind of strategy is it for a lotto team to trade away their young and best player?

    It’s not a question of being a franchise player or not, either. It just does not make sense to send away your youth who is also your best player when you are a lotto team. Stuckey will look better if he is on a good team, and if that happens elsewhere the Pistons are going to (somehow) look worse than they do now.

    • Mar 16, 201110:25 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Well, I don’t think he’s been their best player this season. PER over values scoring way too much. Monroe has clearly been their best, most consistent player.

      But I also think Stuckey is worth keeping at the right payrate. On his rookie contract? I have no problems with him being on the team. He far out-produces that. But he just hasn’t proven enough to sign to a long-term deal at anything over $7 million a year range, and he’s likely to get that much based solely on his upside. The Pistons just can’t afford to invest in another guard unless he shows drastic improvement, which is why I hope he plays next year on the qualifying offer. He can try and have a huge contract year, the Pistons can keep him at a cheap rate for one more year while they decide whether to invest in him long term.

      • Mar 17, 20111:13 am
        by Tim Thielke

        Reply

        While Monroe is clearly their best player right now, I would hesitate to say that he has been the Piston’s best player this season. His first two months were pretty rough, and that’s hard to make up for. At any rate, best Piston of the season is a three way race between Stuckey, Monroe, and Prince. McGrady and Wallace bowed out a while ago after looking like they had a shot.

        • Mar 17, 20111:18 pm
          by brgulker

          Reply

          I’d say it’s:

          McGrady
          Monroe
          Wallace
          Prince/Stuckey

          In that order. Patrick’s right, though, it’s not just about Stuckey as a player in isolation. It’s about Stuckey as a player in relationship to the franchise, its goals, and its existing financial commitments. You can’t just abstract Stuckey from all that and come up with “Pay him!” Not that simple.

  • Mar 16, 201110:48 pm
    by qm22

    Reply

    I agree Monroe has been the best lately (just not the season because of his start/play time) and could possibly be in the future.

    Trying to keep Stuckey at a cheap rate–no one disagrees with trying to have anyone cheap, but if you pay him for what he is worth on the league (under current CBA) it should be around the level of Jameer Nelson and Mike Conley (both of whom, btw, are performing at the same level while being on a team/system that allows more chances to flourish–passing to Dwight Howard in the post >>> waiting for Tay and Rip to get open and iso).

    Of course, the point about too much salary in guards is inarguable… But the choice is signing Stuckey and having a good guard versus being absolutely devastated at those positions. Hamilton and Gordon are overpaid and have been terrible, but one day their contracts expire. I just see it as even more trouble to try to force them into a big role that their contract demands if their play is bad. It’s like if Washington still had Gilbert Arenas and had to worry about resigning John Wall. There is no perfect solution to a toxic contract situation.

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  • Mar 17, 201111:19 am
    by edt

    Reply

    stuckey is either the best or 2nd best player on this team (you can argue monroe is better if you like).
     
    So you all like players like Iso-Prince, old Ben Wallace, can’t shoot-can’t guard ben gordon, matador Charlie V, no defense Austin Daye, energy off the bench mf will bynum, dnp cd maxiell, not a starter chris wilcox, you want to keep all those fools instead of stuckey?  What is wrong with you people, stuckey is the face of the pistons and you are all hating on him because our team stinks.
     
    Our team stinks because we got NO DEFENSE.
     
    We need to keep stuckey.  This is exactly the same situation we were with Amir Johnson and Arron Afflalo where perfectly good players at a decent salary get dumped because the coaches the players, and the fans have no idea what is wrong, we got a coach musical chair here its no Q’s fault it’s not Stuckey’s fault it’s all on Joe D for recruiting the softest bunch of players detroit has ever seen.
     
    Did you all see how angry Pippen still is after so many years?
     
    “The Pistons were a nasty team. They’d go out of their way to be mean and try to hurt you. And because we had better athletes, coach Chuck Daly just let them play the way they had to play to win. Bill Laimbeer was no real athlete. The same for Rick Mahorn and Joe Dumars and James Edwards. We were faster, quicker, more competitive and smarter.”
     
    This is not your Daddy’s pistons.  This is the softest NBA team ever.  And it’s not Stuckey’s fault.  There is absolutely no chance we will over pay for stuckey because our team is so bad, we can get him pretty cheap, of course we will want to resign him.
    The problem is not with stuckey it is everyone else on that team (aside from Monroe).
     
    things will get better if Jerebko returns this year, and i sure hope he does, not to rush him but . . . .  he can play defense.

  • Mar 17, 20111:19 pm
    by brgulker

    Reply

    stuckey is the face of the pistons and you are all hating on him because our team stinks.
    If Stuckey’s the face of the team, and the team sucks, doesn’t that say something about Stuckey?

  • Mar 17, 20111:28 pm
    by edt

    Reply

    not really because no matter how much the NBA pretends that basketball is ALLSTARS ALLSTARS ALLSTARS at the end of the day basketball is a TEAM GAME.
     
    lebron is the best player in the NBA.  And even he couldn’t carry the turd that is cleveland
     
    now stuckey is not even to be mentioned in the same breath with lebron.  because stuckey is a really good player and the entire TEAM stinks.
     
    Stuckey takes all the blame and that’s just not fair.  He is the best player!  So now everyone says he is the worst cause we lose.

    • Mar 17, 20114:25 pm
      by Tim

      Reply

      LeBron couldn’t carry Cleveland?!?!?!?! Are you serious? That’s one of the most erroneous comments I’ve seen on this site. And I have read a lot be detroitpcb!
      Sure he never got Cleveland a championship, but that’s pretty meaningless because of it’s being a small sample size. He was in Cleveland 7 years. Let’s discount the first three because while he was really good then, he wasn’t yet the monster that he became later. So that means he had 4 tries at a title. Most years there are around 6 teams with a legit shot at the title. This year those are San Antonio, LA, Chicago, Boston, and Miami for sure and maybe Dallas, OKC, and Orlando as well. So between 5 and 8: I’d call that about 6. Assuming a random one of the 6 annual contenders wins each year, there is a 48% chance of his not ever winning one in that time. That’s a flip of a coin. It could go either way.
      LeBron carried Cleveland to incredible heights. Before he showed up, they won 17 games. With him there, they won 35, 42, 50, 50, 45, 66, and 61 games. The first two years when they missed the playoffs, they were in 9th place. Thereafter, they made it every year. They got to the finals once, conference finals once, and conference semis 3 times as well as having the leagues best record in back to back seasons. If that’s not carrying a team, I don’t know what is.

  • Mar 17, 20114:14 pm
    by terry

    Reply

    Truth is every player in this league has weaknesses in their game no matter how good they are considered to be. The key as a coach is to be able to mask those weaknesses and play to the strengths of the team. At times I have liked Kuester’s attitude of not bowing down to players, and I loved the benching of Rip (he really needed to be knocked down a peg or three), but Q is really too inflexible to coach this team, and Stuck feels like he’s Stuck in the mud in this slow tempo offense. Q’s style would probably be better suited for a defensive club. My point is that if you can find a coach with an uptempo philosophy yet still harp on defense, it would be a more idea fit for this Detroit team and Stuckey would blossom at the point (or sg if needed). So ultimately the question is not can Stuckey be a great player, but can Joe D. bring in a coach to compliment this team and therefore get the best out of Stuckey’s game. It might be worth pointing out that Ben Gordon, Charlie V., and Rip Hamilton, all great scorers are all having the worst seasons of their careers under Kuester as well and Will Bynum has also been struggling under Q.

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