But why would the Nets, who will almost certainly have cap room, give up an asset to sign Prince? Really, why would any team give up an asset to sign Prince?
Joe Dumars didn’t trade Prince to the Mavericks for their first-round pick at the trade deadline, and word is Dumars thought he could get more for Prince in a sign-and-trade. If Dumars hadn’t already spoken with Prince and other teams to assess the sign-and-trade market (and maybe even if he had), I think the Pistons president miscalculated.
Prince, 31, is too old for a sign-and-trade. Of course, no rule prevents a sign-and-trade based on age, but practicality does. A chief reason a team acquiring a free agent does a sign-and-trade is to offer the player more years and more money. But will teams really want to pay Prince when he’s 37, let alone give him larger year-to-year raises?
That’s why, of the 35 examples of sign-and-trades I found in the previous seven summers,* Prince would be the third-oldest player to get signed-and-traded. (Darrell Armstrong and
Here’s how many players of each have been signed-and-traded in the previous seven summers and where Prince would fit:
Now, maybe Dumars has a specific sign-and-trade already lined up for Prince. (I’ve speculated Prince for Chris Kaman would work for both Detroit and the Clippers.)
Dumars certainly commands a respect around the league that probably allows him to get credible information from other teams. Plus, Dumars has always treated his veteran players well. Ideally, in exchange, Prince was up front with Dumars in February about his summer plans. So, Dumars hopefully has a sound understanding of Prince’s specific sign-and-trade possibilities.
I certainly hope Dumars has a plan. If he’s just winging this one, he’ll likely find the sign-and-trade market for Prince lacking partnering teams. But even if Dumars has a plan, a lot could change between the trade deadline and the beginning of free agency.
Banking on a Prince sign-and-trade returning more than Dallas’ first-round-pick seems misguided to me. Maybe that’s why Dumars has interest in re-signing Prince.
It could be the only way for the Pistons to get any value from the 31-year-old.
*I couldn’t find a complete list of sign-and-trades, and I could find what I consider a close-to-complete list only since 2004. There’s a strong chance I’m missing at least one. I If you know of any sign-and-trades, post a link in the comments, and I’ll update the chart. A list of the sign-and-trades I found follows the jump.
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