In a recent mailbag, Keith Langlois explained that the Pistons can’t sign-and-trade Rodney Stuckey.
Ben (Lansing, Mich.): I’m confused as to whether the Pistons could negotiate a sign and trade for Rodney Stuckey due to his status as a restricted free agent. Is that possible?
Langlois: Not under the current CBA, which won’t be in effect when Stuckey becomes a restricted free agent on July 1, regardless. Under current rules, it works like this: Stuckey puts himself on the market as a RFA. If he can entice somebody to offer him a contract he finds suitable, he signs an offer sheet. The Pistons would then have a week to match. But they can’t match it and trade him. In fact, if Stuckey signs an offer sheet and the Pistons match, they can’t trade him for one full year without his consent – and they could not trade him to the team that extends the offer sheet for a year, regardless of consent. If Stuckey did not agree to another team’s offer sheet, as best I interpret the CBA, once he were to re-sign with the Pistons, he could then be traded no earlier than Dec. 15. But, again, the new CBA figures to alter the rules across the board.
Ben from Lansing is actually Ben Gulker, who re-posted the explanation on Detroit Bad Boys. Because this notion that the Pistons can’t sign-and-trade Stuckey has been gaining traction, I want to clear up the actual situation:
The Pistons can sign-and-trade Rodney Stuckey this summer, assuming the relevant portions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement remain unchanged.
Of course, anything can change in the new CBA, but I don’t expect any rules that apply here to be altered. Everything in this post uses the current CBA.
The first step this summer will be the Pistons deciding whether to extend Stuckey a qualifying offer.
If they do, Stuckey will become a restricted free agent (meaning the Pistons can match any offer sheet he signs). Until the Pistons or Stuckey do something else, Stuckey will have the option to sign a one-year $3,868,443 contract with Detroit. When that contract expires, he’d be an unrestricted free agent.
If the Pistons don’t extend the qualifying offer, he’d become an unrestricted free agent.
The Pistons are virtual locks to extend Stuckey a qualifying offer, so here are the four scenarios that could happen after that point:
The Pistons can re-sign Rodney Stuckey
This is the simplest option. The Pistons could present Stuckey a contract, and he could sign it.
If that occurs, the Pistons couldn’t trade Stuckey until Dec. 15 (or three months after he signs, whichever is later).
Rodney Stuckey can accept the Pistons’ qualifying offer
As described above, as long as the Pistons want to retain their ability to match an offer sheet to Stuckey, they must leave a one-year, $3,868,443 contract on the table for him.
If he accepts that contract, Detroit can’t trade him without his consent during the deal.
Rodney Stuckey can sign an offer sheet with another team
If Stuckey signs an offer sheet with another team, the Pistons would have seven days to match. Regardless, of whether they do or not, they can’t match-and-trade him.
For one year after the Pistons match, Stuckey would have the right to refuse any trade. However, the Pistons couldn’t trade him to the team that originally signed him during that one-year period.
Rodney Stuckey and the Pistons can agree to a sign-and-trade
A sign-and-trade is a single transaction, and the Pistons could sign-trade Stuckey this summer. Detroit, Stuckey and the team acquiring him would have to agree to all the terms.
Once Stuckey signs any contract or offer sheet that’s not explicitly a sign-and-trade, a sign-and-trade is impossible.
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