Stuckey, the Pistons’ top free agent this offseason, is balking at what the Pistons are prepared to pay him. The Pistons have discussed a deal that would pay Stuckey between $40 million and $45 million over five years, according to sources.
By comparison, Mike Conley agreed to a five-year, $40 million extension with the Memphis Grizzlies in November.
Stuckey’s representatives, seeking an even bigger deal, have been contacting other teams the past few days, looking to broker a sign-and-trade deal. However, the Pistons are telling teams that they won’t agree to a sign-and-trade for Stuckey, sources said.
As Matt Watson put it, “This is my nightmare.” I truly hope the Pistons don’t go higher than that offer. Stuckey’s options right now are really limited. He can try and get an offer sheet for more than that from another team, something I think is highly unlikely to happen. Or, as Ford reports his representatives are threatening to do, he could accept the Pistons’ one-year qualifying offer and then become an unrestricted free agent next season.
I’ve thought all along that the qualifying offer would be Stuckey’s choice, even if it is a gamble. If Stuckey signed a long-term deal for about $8 million per year, I wouldn’t be shocked by him seriously out-performing that contract. I also wouldn’t bet against him severely under-performing it. If he comes back motivated in a contract year on a one-year deal, it’s possible he could net himself an even bigger offer as an unrestricted free agent next season. Of course, it’s also a major risk because if he gets hurt or has a poor season, money and security at the level the Pistons are reportedly offering right now won’t be there next year.
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