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Tayshaun Prince becoming a Pistons lifer driven by Joe Dumars’ comfort, not vision

Since Isiah Thomas, just two men have play more than six seasons and spent their entire career with the Pistons:

Joe Dumars and Tayshaun Prince.

Those two just decided the latter will remain in the club.

In many ways, Prince is the prized player of the Dumars era. He’s the only 2004 championship starter the Pistons drafted, their best pick since Grant Hill and Dumars’ first successful first-round pick after taking Mateen Cleaves and Rodney White his first two years. Prince was an Olympian, but never an All-Star – a strange dichotomy that exists only because Prince became known as the NBA’s best role player. That’s the type of recognition Detroit fans love.

I’m sure Dumars, one of the most beloved athletes ever in this city, sees some of himself in Prince – a pro’s pro whose quiet reputation is probably a bit overstated. In reality, both are more extroverted than they typically appear. They’re both extremely intelligent. They both overcame getting drafted lower than their college production probably warranted.

It’s hardly a coincidence Prince has survived five coaches and 51 teammates in Detroit.

The boss loves him.

Fair contract

Four years and $27 million is hardly a ridiculous salary for a player of Prince’s caliber. He scores in a variety of ways and has become equally comfortable as a first option as he was as a fourth option in the Pistons’ heyday. He rebounds well and passes well, too. His defense has fallen off a bit in recent years, but last season represented a significant defensive uptick.

Paying a player like that fewer than $7 million per year makes sense relative to other NBA contracts.

Simply, he’s a good player. Acquiring good players is difficult, and teams rarely (and usually wisely) allow good players just to walk away. Keeping a good player for fair cost makes even more sense.

If Prince continues to produce at a high level, the Pistons could decide on him from a position of power later – trading him if they want to rebuild or keeping him if he’s helping the team win. Right now, Prince, had the upper hand, because he could use 30 teams for leverage against each other.

Given Prince’s age, hefty playoff workload and recent injury issues, there’s a risk his production could fall to the point trading him is a burden. But even if Prince remains capable as a player, this signing could damage the Pistons.

Downside

Prince re-signing will cut into the minutes of Detroit’s young small forwards – Austin Daye, Jonas Jerebko and Kyle Singler when he returns from Spain. Playing time is undoubtedly one of the biggest aids to a developing player, and Prince will limit the opportunity for those three to see the court.

In theory, though, Prince could offer something else instead.

Prince is one of the, if not the (and I’d lean toward the), smartest player on the Pistons. His understanding of what to do on and off the court could benefit Detroit’s younger players immensely.

Unfortunately, the “could” might carry too much weight.

Part of being the smartest person in the room is being smart enough to know he’s the smartest person in the room, and I’d be shocked if Prince doesn’t realize that. Is he really committed to sharing his knowledge, bridging the gap between himself and his teammates?

I haven’t seen reports of Prince mentoring younger players the way, say, Ben Wallace has. Maybe he does it just as much, or even more. But from the outside, I’ve seen little reason to believe Prince holds significant value as a mentor.

I’ve seen no evidence Prince holds  value as a role model, either.

Not only have the Pistons played poorly the last few years, they’ve acted poorly. That’s not to completely blame the players. Not all of their actions were without cause.

Nonetheless, the team’s attitude has been petty at best, pernicious at worst. Prince has been in the center of the movement.

Here’s my armchair psychology: Prince is a pretty grumpy guy, but winning keeps him on an even keel.

There’s a difference between disliking losing and an inability to handle it in a productive manner. I don’t think Prince falls on the helpful side of that line. That explains why he looked like the perfect team player during the Pistons’ contending years and like a petulant brat in the last few years.

The easiest fix is winning, but for the Pistons, that’s not so easy. They’re years away from winning at the level Prince became accustomed to early in his career.

In the meantime, what signals will he be sending the team’s impressionable young players?

Unnecessary challenge

Life will be more difficult for Austin Daye, Jonas Jerebko and Kyle Singler now. He might not know it yet, but if Lawrence Frank doesn’t turn around what will apparently be the same roster that failed to make the playoffs the last two years, his life will likely be more difficult, too, as a result of this signing.

None of that would happen if Dumars had made the courageous choice: let Prince walk away, maybe getting Chris Kaman in return, maybe getting nothing. But this move makes Dumars and Prince comfortable – Dumars with his apparently favorite player in tow and Prince with contract security through age 35.

Who cares about progress? Comfort ruled the day.

But if Prince’s contract becomes unmovable, if he stunts Detroit’s young players, if his attitude proves counterproductive… well Dumars’ seat will get pretty uncomfortable. Dumars is banking it won’t get to that point, and he might be right. For now, he doesn’t have to worry about it.

The boss has his man.

66 Comments

  • Dec 8, 20114:07 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    dan,
    great post.
    i think you nailed it.  the good, the bad and the potential ugly.
    let’s see how it plays out, but i think you have identified most of the issues that have been present and some of the main ones that will be in play.
    my only hope is that daye plays out of his mind, and some title contender comes along and offers dumars a deal he cannot refuse, because they believe tay is the missing ingredient for their title quest.
    highly unlikely, imho – i have never thought that joe would ever let tay go, for exactly the reasons you have noted – but one can hope.

  • Dec 8, 20114:25 pm
    by jake

    Reply

    there’s no defending this deal imo. yes, it’s a fair contract, HOWEVER, we have two players on the same team who could’ve easily taken over the starting 3 (jerebko and daye). it’s not fair to both the pistons organization and prince. the young guys deserve a chance, and tayshaun deserves to play for a winner.

    • Dec 8, 20114:40 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Oh, it’s more than fair to Prince. He had the option to go elsewhere and chose money rather than playing for a contender. I’m not judging that decision whatsoever, many people in his position — already has a ring, getting up their in age — would take that last contract too. But he deserves to play for the team he chose to sign with. Now I hope since he chose to be here, his attitude improves and he becomes more comfortable deferring some of his ridiculously huge role in the offense to their younger, developing players.

      • Dec 8, 20115:13 pm
        by Laser

        Reply

        The notion that Daye could have “easily” taken over the starting position at SF is absurd. In two full NBA seasons, he has proven nothing whatsoever about what role he could fill. In order to do that, he needed consistent minutes and a consistent role, and he never had either. I’m not entirely sure he can provide 20 solid minutes off the bench, let alone start.
         
        As for Jonas, he could be our starting SF, but that would leave a hole at PF, where he figures to start alongside Monroe. So you still haven’t solved the position. If we didn’t add SOMETHING at SF, it’s almost certain that Rip and Stuckey would have to spend significant time at the position. And shoot, maybe they still will. But please dispense the notion that we had all the SF depth we needed.

        • Dec 8, 20115:18 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          Haha … did you just quote me saying something I didn’t say? When did I say Daye could “easily” take over as the starting SF? My point is, Daye needs to play so that they can figure out if he’s anything more than Jason Kapono.

          “But please dispense the notion that we had all the SF depth we needed.”

          Again, something I never said. They needed to add a SF. But Prince was way too heavily involved in the offense last season. When he is the primary option, the ball doesn’t move and the whole team looks stagnant. That absolutely has to change.

          • Dec 8, 20117:53 pm
            by frankie d

            true, tay does slow down the offense.  he has the skills to play a point forward, but he always hesitates, rather than making the quick decision and pass.  as a viewer, i’d see openings for passes, tay would also see it, but he would look at the potential opening, hesitate and the opening would quickly close.  it was easier to see this year, because mcgrady was the opposite, he would make good, quick decisions with the ball, making the offense a lot more fluid.
            also tay, rip and ben seemed, to this fan, to often play together and essentially ignore the other players, especially the young guys.  it was pretty obvious to me.  rip and tay would pass the ball to each other and the rest of the players would end up standing around, watching.  it probably was simply because of their comfort level and familiarity with each other, but it definitely had a negative impact on the offense.

      • Dec 8, 20116:49 pm
        by detroitpcb

        Reply

        this basically sucks. They overpaid and they block the development of their young players. I would never have given Prince more than 6 million a year.

        Prince and Ben Gordon again. gonna be another ugly mess.

  • Dec 8, 20114:26 pm
    by omar

    Reply

    I just want to say I’m glad Joe and Tay are comfortable. Because the entire fanbase is uncomfortable right now.

    BTW – 97.1 reporting the deal is $30 mil, not 27. So its actually 4yrs, $7.5 mil/yr. When Tay is pushing 35, we will be paying him close to $8 mil/yr.

    Again, I’m just happy for Tay and Joe that they are comfortable.

    • Dec 8, 20115:14 pm
      by Laser

      Reply

      this is funny. don’t ignore me bro. my prophecies are coming true even as we speak, and i think i like you. like, more than a friend.

  • Dec 8, 20114:31 pm
    by Sebastian

    Reply

    Yes, it is time to relieve Joe of his duties as President of Basket Operations!!!

    • Dec 8, 20114:33 pm
      by Sebastian

      Reply

      I was meaning to type: Yes, it is time to relieve Joe of his duties as President of Basketball Operations!!!
      I am so disgusted with the decision to tie up money and playing time on the mediocre and aging Prince.

  • Dec 8, 20114:41 pm
    by qm22

    Reply

    I feel the negative side pointed out in the article is what we experienced in the Karen Davidson/Kuester years already.
    “But if Prince’s contract becomes unmovable, if he stunts Detroit’s young players, if his attitude proves counterproductive… well Dumars’ seat will get pretty uncomfortable. Dumars is banking it won’t get to that point, and he might be right. For now, he doesn’t have to worry about it.”
    To me, this is exactly what seemed to have happened. We can never easily judge a players attitude as outsiders but Prince seemed to have a bad attitude, bad chemistry, and not mentor young players (from Daye to anyone else).
    I have a feeling that no one else was going to sign Prince to the same contract rather than Prince wanting to return. Allegedly the Clippers were interested, but is there evidence that they would pay him more? Or did Joe Dumars outbid himself for a player that (likely) does not fit in with rebuilding like he did with Hamilton?

    • Dec 8, 20114:45 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Well, the Clips just paid Caron Butler $24 million over three years, so if Prince was their first choice, I assume they may have been willing to give him more than the Pistons gave him.

  • Dec 8, 20114:42 pm
    by chris

    Reply

    It’s not the amount that bothers me…it’s the length. Like Omar said, Tay will be about 35 in the last year of his contract, still earning 7-8 mil. It’s solid right now, but too much for a 35 year old that will hardly be (or ever was) a superstar. Not only that, the older and possibly more banged up he gets, the harder it will be to trade him, should it come to that. Not a bad deal $ wise, but it’s too long.

  • Dec 8, 20114:44 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    I like the comparison of Prince the player to Dumars the player, but there is one important distinction to make: late in his career, Dumars willingly relinquished the role as the team’s primary option and became a complimentary player. Prince had a death grip on the role of primary option last season. If Dumars truly believed signing Prince is what is best with the team, I hope he at least communicated that Prince will need to cede some of his responsibilities in the offense so that the team’s younger players can get minutes and develop.

    • Dec 8, 20115:22 pm
      by Laser

      Reply

      …but Dumars isn’t interested in having veterans reduce their roles to make room for young players to develop. That has never been his M.O. and he’s consistently avoided doing it. He’d rather look at all that raw talent on paper, disregard how it fits together (or doesn’t fit, as it were), imagine the team would still be in its heyday but for some vague concept of misfortune that continues to befall them, stay the course, win as many games as it can (something around 25-30), and remain on the mediocrity treadmill. His track record has proven this. He can’t face the reality that the team is no good and it’s all his fault and it’s time to start looking towards the future, rather than improve by just one middle lottery pick a year until he’s mercifully fired.

  • Dec 8, 20115:02 pm
    by omar

    Reply

    ^If he agrees to be the 3rd-4th option, behind Monroe and Knight, that’ll be a start. But the big problem I have is at $7-8 mil/yr he is now cemented in that starting lineup no matter if he agrees to come off the bench or not. Because how could they afford to pay a backup SF that much money? Which means Daye and Singler were wasted picks imo. They will never get enough PT, and probably not even re-sign here after their contracts are up – just to be Prince’s backup.

    Spending the money this year on Prince – ok, but then why not a 1 or 2 yr deal?

    After all the waiting for Karen to sell the team, so Joe could start to work his way out of the bad contracts – The first move he makes, he saddles himself with another bad contract!

    I would rather have seen Gores use that $7 mil/yr to make CV go away in an amnesty, and let Tay walk for nothing than this move.

    • Dec 8, 20115:36 pm
      by Laser

      Reply

      1) That’s almost exactly what they pay Villanueva to be a starter, and for all his talent Charlie in his prime will never be as productive here as Tayshaun will when he’s old and creaky.
       
      2) This was probably the best option the team had, since the alternative was to let Tayshaun go for nothing at all. Throwing Daye into the fire without a backup plan wasn’t realistic at this point. Rarely does a player go from “completely untested,” never having a chance at significant minutes or a consistent role, to a starter. Joe drafted three small forwards two years ago and didn’t manage to come out with a replacement. This is just a response to that failure.
       
      3) I don’t think there’s a Chinaman’s chance that Tayshaun was signing anything less than a four year contract anywhere. It’s his last big payday, and he was getting four years no matter what. If he signed a one or two year deal anywhere, he’d probably be in for a couple veteran’s minimums to close out his career. He’s getting less than he cold fetch elsewhere this season and next, and he ends up being overpaid for the last year or two of the deal. This isn’t hard to figure out.
       
      4) I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and it’s being proven before our very eyes: Karen Davidson had ALMOST NOTHING to do with the team’s lack of flexibility. No matter who owned the team or what restraints they put on Joe, he handcuffed himself with the contracts he’s handed out lately.
       
      5) Your comment about using $7 mil a year to make Charlie go away while still paying him, while letting Tayshaun go away for nothing makes no sense and is just childish, reactionary hogwash. Paying Charlie to go away would be a big mistake, unless you were going to use the cap space he frees up to actually sign a worthwhile free agent. There were no good options available, so why cut the guy and continue to pay him?? He probably has real value on the trade market, or at least he will by the time he’s expiring. Dumping him now accomplishes nothing at all. Furthermore, it would be an ENORMOUS admission of a mistake by Dumars. He’d rather swallow his pride and try to rehabilitate Charlie. Period. For that matter, you’d be better off using the amnesty on Ben Gordon. It might even make more sense to use it on Rip (even though his contract gets better and better by the day), since that frees up a lot more money and frees up some minutes for our crowded backcourt. I hate CV as much as anyone and I’d feed him to wolves if given the chance, but it makes no sense whatsoever to waste an amnesty on him.

      • Dec 8, 20116:46 pm
        by omar

        Reply

        1) So you justify Tay’s signing because he’s better than a useless sack of crap?

        2) Yes. You let him go for nothing. And save the cap space for a future deal that is better. And Daye might not be ready, but that doesnt mean you spend $8 mil on another SF! You go and get someone for the vet min as insurance, in the event he’s not ready. And Daye working out his growing pains in big min ON THE COURT is not the worst thing for him. Time for him to start playing, or else he is going to leave on his own and be another wasted pick.

        3) Its hard to figure out why you think the Pistons HAD to sign Tay to a 4 yr deal. They didn’t HAVE to sign him at all.

        4) Karen had everything to do with the teams lack of flexibility – They couldn’t make trades! Its Joe’s fault for being stuck with the contracts, but he hasn’t been able to make moves since he signed to get rid of them. Now he can, and the first thing he does is add another bad contract.

        5) You seem to not understand that if they amnestied CV and didn’t sign Tay, that would have created $14 mil in cap space. With which they would;ve been in the market for any of of the top FA big men. Even if they struck out, they removed 1 useless player in CV, and prevented another unnecessary and redundant player in Tayshaun from re-signing. Would’ve had lots of capspace next year, as well as extra trade flexibilty this year. As well as gotten major PT for their young players. And if the young guys struggle – A top lotto pick. 

        I’m not for tanking at all, but if you are trying to win – Tayshaun as your starting SF on this team is PROVEN to equal to a 7th-8th pick in the draft – Mediocrity. This move does not signal them trying to win or trying to lose. It signals they are happy with where they’ve bee n the last few years.

        The SMART move would’ve been Joe admitting his mistake, taking his loss and amnestying CV. Instead, he compunding it by signing another bad contract for a player he already knows doesn’t help him win any more games! Just pure stupidity.

  • Dec 8, 20115:06 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    Comfort level, sure. It certainly has nothing to do with Dumars’s “vision” if anybody is still delirious enough from an almost-decade-old championship to think the man has one. But this is really about OPTIONS. And, as I’ve been saying for a long time now, the Pistons don’t have many right now. Thanks to a string of positively horrendous personnel decisions, the Pistons are virtually devoid of flexibility.
     
    The one thing all the players we’d like to trade right now have in common is that we have little or no chance to establish any value for them. Gordon and Rip can’t play together. Anybody with a brain and a shred of basketball acumen could have told you that before we got a few miserable seasons of hard evidence. But they have atrocious contracts, and their respective values peak when they’re expiring contracts. Story is basically the same for Max and Charlie, who probably won’t live up to their contracts.
     
    This isn’t really a “move.” It’s just the latest domino to fall in the fallout from a long series of bad decisions. Same would be the case if we signed Big Baby Davis. Aftershocks from Joe leaving the team with no good options.

  • Dec 8, 20115:12 pm
    by brgulker

    Reply

    So in a nutshell, the boss loves him, and he’s paid fairly.

    The first isn’t an argument. It’s an observation, and an irrelevant one. Whether or not he and Dumars are good old boys couldn’t have less impact on the merits of this contract.

    The second point is naive at best, willfully ignorant at worst. I will grant you that Tay’s $7 million salary next season will be fair if he produces comparably to this season. But beyond that? He’ll be overpayed, plain and simple.

    Players Tayshaun’s age don’t improve once they get into their mid 30′s. That just doesn’t happen. Players his age progressively decline, and we begin to see that last season, as injuries limited playing time and effectiveness for the first significant time in his career.

    To put it another way, Tayshaun will never be a better basketball player than he was last season. Each season from here on out is very likely to be the worst season he’s ever had to date.

    This is a reckless waste of resources. This wouldn’t necessarily be the case if Dumars were simply stockpiling him as an asset. Reports indicate that this isn’t the case, as you’ve hinted above. Dumars wants to make a lifer out of Prince – a guy, who in his very best moments, was a third or fourth wheel.

    The contract isn’t fair. It’s only so if you trick yourself into looking one year into the future. This was a dumb move that further cements Joe Dumars’ legacy as a failed GM who happened to get really lucky when Grant Hill did him the favor of a sign and trade.

    • Dec 8, 20115:50 pm
      by Laser

      Reply

      1) Tayshaun Prince’s game is predicated on athleticism less than almost anyone in the league I can think of offhand. He stands to lose less over the course of this contract than basically anybody in league history between the ages of 31 and 35. He’s smart, plays at a deliberate pace, uses his length more than speed on defense. Nobody thinks he’s going to be worth $7-8 million when he’s 35, but that’s the price you pay to get him at that price for the next two years.
       
      2) Letting him walk would be a terrible waste of resources too. We’re not going to have any real cap space any time soon, and It’s not like we’re going to lure any free agents here anyways.
       
      3) If Dumars keeps Tayshaun around just so he finishes his career here, rather than doing what’s in the best interest of the team, that’s just another notch in the column of “terrible GM who got very, very lucky a few times when he needed it.” If Dumars ends up trading him this year or next to a contender for something useful, nobody is going to cry over this signing. Tayshaun wants to finish his career here, but he also wants another championship, and he’s smart enough to know he can’t have both. I want a turkey sandwich and also a ham sandwich right now, but i can’t have both or my girlfriend will not have sex with me tonight. Nothing is set in stone, so the guy could easily still be traded. Who knows? And if he isn’t, at least people like you and me get to say “I told you so” to all the jokers who bought into this BS that Dumars is some sort of genius. I’d rather have a respectable team in my city, but that’s not looking likely…

    • Dec 8, 201110:23 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      “Tayshaun Prince’s game is predicated on athleticism less than almost anyone in the league I can think of offhand.”

      You know this man is back in the league, right?

  • Dec 8, 20115:19 pm
    by jason

    Reply

    nice article except I completely disagree that its a comfy pick and the courageous choice would of been to let him go or get someone who is injury prone.

    The courageous choice to me is signing him when basically every reporter/analyst except a select few had Tay leaving the Pistons. Success is do the right thing and not following the crowd. COURAGEOUS

    Lets get something straight though. We do not want Jorebko playing the the three spot. Everyone repeat. WE DO NOT WANT JJ PLAYING THE THREE SPOT.

  • Dec 8, 20115:31 pm
    by vic

    Reply

    I like this move because he really is a good player. he is very smart, but his weakness seems to be communication. i think the attitude and communication problem will be rectified by having a competentcoach – frank.so i’m not worried about his attitude. I actually think this is a chance to make him more of a mentor and maybe add him to the culture as an assistant coach in the future.As far as pt goes, this only works if we get rid of Rip or BG.AD can’t play the defense of a 3, but he can be a backup 2 guard, and he needs minutes to grow.

  • Dec 8, 20116:00 pm
    by tom

    Reply

    Does anyone not think he was our best player the last two months of last season? I didn’t watch all of the games but the 10 or so I did watch it was clear that he was the best player in blue. Now, clearly he is not a move for the future, but he gives us the best chance of winning now, he takes pressure off the young guys by both being a versatile player who can fill whatever holes they leave and by hopefully being a mentor. And in the end this is a very tradeable contract, so I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see him moved at some point in the future.

    The dream signing of a young superstar? Of course not, this is nothing to get terribly excited about, but taken as a whole I don’t see how anyone can be upset.

    • Dec 8, 20116:10 pm
      by Jason

      Reply

      yeah i missed a few games all season. he was clearly our best player. so many games he would be switched defensively through the game on someone and shut them down. he would do this against point guards even.

      he is not great but he is a special player in my eyes. some of that is obviously his length but i am glad we have him.

    • Dec 8, 20116:59 pm
      by qm22

      Reply

      Of course many think he was not the best player. By advanced stats, he was not even top5. He also displayed horrible chemistry, poor effort on defense, selfish isolation plays while averaging a career high FGA.
      You say “hopefully be a mentor” but what evidence of that happening is there? There have been numerous stories about other Pistons being mentors. Rasheed, Lindsey Hunter, Ben Wallace, etc. Reporters saw them working with the younger players, and the young players mentioned it during interviews. With Tayshaun both of those reports are non-existent, and on the court he displays poor chemistry with the younger players, and reporters say there is a locker room divide between young and old last season…
      In this very article it even mentions many of the doubts, and Patrick Hayes posted about Tay having a “death-grip” on the primary option role. That is almost as anti-supportive of him being a good mentor as possible.

  • Dec 8, 20116:29 pm
    by gmehl1977

    Reply

    So it looks like Billups will be amnestied by the Knicks. Maybe Joe pick him up and then trade Monroe for Okur and then coax Rasheed out of retirement. I am sure Lindsay Hunter is sick of sitting on the couch and heck while we are at it trade Daye and JJ for Darko. Jokes people…just jokes!

  • Dec 8, 20116:54 pm
    by D_S_V

    Reply

    Because any time you can bring back the best player on a 30 win team who is a wing player on a team with 6 wing players for a multi year deal that lasts into his mid 30′s… you have to do it. The Mediocrity Treadmill is going strong!

  • Dec 8, 20117:17 pm
    by Saul

    Reply

    This makes me wonder how much patience Tom Gores will have with Joe. I thought Gores was going to be more involved with the drafts and GM moves, and he lets Joe D. make this type of deal? Only hope I have is that one or both of Joe D. & Gores has a plan for the future. Then again, doesn’t look like it.

  • Dec 8, 20117:54 pm
    by Sebastian

    Reply

    I get it. Tay is no sacred cow! Damn you Joe!

  • Dec 8, 20118:32 pm
    by Phile

    Reply

    Alas, there is an important factor to keep in mind regarding Prince’s contract figure.  These are all “source” reports we are hearing now…the final year of this contract could actually have a team option, and the true value might well be 3 yrs/19 million. Not a bad signing by the NBA’s insane standards, and certainly a movable commodity.  Besides, Jerebko and Charlie V. will absorb the bulk of their minutes at the 4, and Singler is playing overseas this season.  So, the only immediate victim of this deal is Daye.

    • Dec 8, 20119:46 pm
      by omar

      Reply

      The victim is also the fans, who now have to watch CV/Jerebko as our only PF’s, when we could’ve used that $7 mil/yr on a different PF instead of Tay.
      I like the JJ deal, but only as a backup. Last I saw he was a 3-4 Hybrid. Just like CV is a 3-4 Hybrid. These guys aren’t starting PF’s, and will get abused by the likes of Bosh, Boozer, Garnett, Amare, and the rest of the real PF’s in the East.

      And neither has much offensive either. Jerebko is a garbage man, and all CV can do is shoot spot up 3′s.

      I had hope when I thought we were clearing space to re-build around Knight/Monroe with new players. But this is the same crap team. 

      How does Joe justify drafting Knight, and then thinking he doesn’t have to anything to clear the logjam at G before the season starts???

      How is Knight going to get ANY minutes with Stuckey, Rip, and Gordon?

      We should’ve just drafted another SF, and not re-signed Tay. We aren’t going to get any production from Knight on the bench. So why draft him?

      • Dec 8, 20119:48 pm
        by omar

        Reply

        Joe needs to go. I don’t even care if they have a winning season. Nobody likes this group of players and its impossible to root for them.

  • Dec 8, 20119:58 pm
    by neutes

    Reply

    So I make my return to see what all this NBA hub-bub is about only to find out that the Pistons have re-signed Prince and a bunch of whiny owners control the NBA by voiding the Paul trade, which you’d think with the fact they just won this labor deal they woudln’t have anything left to complain about, but no, apparently the last 5 months didn’t solve their issues because they are still a bunch of crybabies. I’m losing it. I’m seriously losing my NBA fandom here. They just don’t want to make it easy on me. If Stuckey signs a deal in excess of $8 million a season I’m out. I just can’t do it anymore.

    • Dec 8, 201110:38 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Too bad that NOLA trade fell through. I was hoping the Pistons would try and flip Knight/Daye and a contract for Scola. Not that I really want to see Knight or Daye go just yet, but it looks like both guys’ positions will be occupied for a while here.

      • Dec 9, 20111:59 am
        by Eric

        Reply

        Yeah place the team in mediocrity for years to come. Scola is NOT what the team needs, especially since the league is now driven by players forcing themselves into trades of their liking. Apparently, you don’t realize what the fans want. And what the fans want is players that they want to see. And the only way for the pistons to get those players is through the draft.

        • Dec 9, 20112:02 am
          by Eric

          Reply

          Yes, I know that Scola will help the team win games, but that’s not what the fans want to see. We want an EXCITING and YOUNG team, not a team full of older vets contending for a 7th or 8th seed.

        • Dec 9, 20118:56 am
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          Yeah, the last thing the team needs is a big man who averages 18 and 8 and shoots 50 percent. More Charlie Villanueva, please.

          If you haven’t noticed, despite a few nice young players, this is a team full of veterans with bloated contracts. We’re not getting an exciting young team anytime soon.

          • Dec 9, 20111:34 pm
            by Eric

            Obviously, Scola is much better than Charlie V. But adding him would only put the team in mediocrity for years to come. 

            So how is adding a 30 year old and trading away Knight going to help the team move in a direction towards building a young team? If anything, it only prolongs a proper rebuilding of the team. Not only that, but acquiring Scola might diminish the chances of the Pistons landing a premier player in the 2012 draft.

  • Dec 8, 201110:46 pm
    by Youssif

    Reply

    Beyond just comfort, I wonder if this means Joe D just doesn’t believe Austin Daye will progress beyond being a serviceable, five-to-ten-minutes-off-the-bench shooter. The guy isn’t going to play at the 4 (like Jonas) because he’d look worse than a toothpick among sequoias; and we still have a log-jam at the 2 with no sign (yet) of that changing, so we know he’s not being moved to SG. If Joe D thought there was a chance Daye would become at least an average starting SF, I don’t see how this signing makes sense.  

    Personally, I’d have liked to see us re-sign T-Mac over Prince, but maybe that just wasn’t in the cards. Hopefully Tayshaun wakes up, accepts his situation, and decides to embrace the role of veteran leader — given that he’s now knowingly chosen his situation — and does what it takes to mentor the young guys and help them develop. 

  • Dec 8, 201111:08 pm
    by Andrew

    Reply

    i loved this article. tay is the man. but i hope he is the man that we need.

  • Dec 8, 201111:15 pm
    by Tom

    Reply

    Looking at the salary numbers on hoopsworld, if you assume a reasonable salary for Stuckey we will be 5-6 million over the cap this year. Are we to believe Gores is ok with being over the cap for a team that in a best case scenario could compete to approach .500? Makes me think other moves are imminent.

  • Dec 8, 201111:24 pm
    by Micah Wels

    Reply

    This is R I D iculous how much these veterans are getting.  Out of all the veterans we have on the team Tay deserves the money.  But with all the over paid ones on the team COME ON MAN!!!  We need more balance in our roster so why continue to cluster the the 1, 2 , 3 positions.  I know they had microwave, joe D and Isiah when the bad boys were playing but they also had some bigs to play D.  This was the perfect opportunity to get a player or to save money.  The odds are against us, but I am not counting them out yet.

  • Dec 8, 201111:33 pm
    by Micah Wels

    Reply

    I guess Jonas is going to have to play the 4 and I am OK with that, at least rotate between 3 and 4.  And we are going to have to play quick because our lack of size.  We have a lot of combo players playing more than one position if we can use that to our advantage it could work.

  • Dec 9, 20115:39 am
    by Max

    Reply

    I applaud Dumars for sticking with his convictions and signing Tayshaun Prince who people tend to way underrate and even some Pistons fans who should know better.  I’m saying Hallelujah today so you can all go be grumpy but you’re all spoiled and bellyaching when you should be going gaga over Monroe and the possibility that Knight is special.  What veteran could bridge two winning eras and allow them to hang on to a thread of their winning culture better than Prince?  I hope he stays with the two for three decades and coaches them one day…..more on that later.
    Two seasons ago Prince got hurt and missed games for the first time in his career.  Until that happened, he never missed the playoffs.  Nevertheless, when he came back, he had his best statistical months.
    To those who say Prince needs to realize he has to cede time to the younger players I would say this; last season Prince played about 4-6 fewer minutes than he had in nearly a decade and yet nearly matched his stats over that period and put up his highest scoring average ever on a per 36 minute basis.  So no one should think he is in any decline for he is actually enjoying his prime which unfortunately included his only stretch of missed games.  That said, Daye and Jerebko figure to see time at small forward.  This whole point in the debate is overblown though since both should rather develop at power forward.
    Some are questioning Prince’s decision making so I’d like to point out that he is 11th all time in turnover pct and shouldn’t be lambasted for not making the quick decisions of a point guard as he’s never played that role on any kind of full time basis.  I disagree with the notion that he slows things down.  Unless the play actually calls on him to run it through himself, he is as likely as any player I’ve ever seen to move the ball as soon as he gets it, but as these types of ball movement passes don’t add up to assists, Prince doesn’t get the credit as he would in hockey.  Prince doesn’t get a lot of blocks or steals for the same reason.  Unlike a lot of other players, he never chooses to go after a stat versus the right basketball play and you rarely see Prince go for a block he doesn’t get.
    To the question of whether Prince is a mentor or role model I would recall how Coach K revealed that he subbed all of the other players out like LeBron, Dwight and so on at every position on the floor when they weren’t performing the plays correctly and put in Prince to show them how to execute.  Yes, Prince is grouchy; in their best days, they would blow a team out while holding them under 80 and Prince would be grousing about the little gaps that players never bring up during such post game interviews.  This is exactly why Prince IS A LEADER.  One of my favorite moments as a Pistons fan will always be how Prince got in Rasheed’s face when he was self-destructing.
    Prince and Stuckey have been the best two players on the team for the past couple of years now and it is understandable in some ways why people have turned on them, but I would ask why that puts the burden on them of being judged like superstars.  They are not superstars.  The question is whether they could be the 3rd or 4th best players on a great team and I think they can be.  Stuckey has been pretty explosive when allowed to play the 2 guard so hopefully Brandon Knight will be great.  I no longer worry about Monroe.  He’s the best draft pick they made since Grant Hill, so cheer up Pistons fans, and give Dumars some credit for drafting Knight, Monroe, Jerebko and Stuckey at least.  And lest we forget, they would have been better last year with Jerebko.

  • Dec 9, 20117:29 am
    by Murph

    Reply

    I don’t get it.  You guys (Feldman and Hayes) were big supporters of signing 31 year old Mike Dunleavy to play SF, but you are ripping into Joe for re-signing 31 year old Prince to play SF.  You have to admit, Prince is a much better option than the oft injured Dunleavy.

    A little consistency, please.

    • Dec 9, 20118:53 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Dunleavy signed for 2 years/$7.5 million. Prince signed for 4 years/$30ish million. Prince is a better player, but not by that much. I would much rather have Dunleavy and his contract than Prince and his. It’s not that I object so much to Prince, but that long a deal for that much money doesn’t make much sense on this team.

      • Dec 9, 20119:33 am
        by Murph

        Reply

        Hmmmm…  Sound like you’re rationalizing. 

        Hey…how about a drag race between Prince and Dunleavy?

        The best solution might be for the Pistons to lose a ton of games this year, get lucky in the lottery, and draft Harrison Barnes next year.

  • Dec 9, 20118:46 am
    by Steve K

    Reply

    Despite some of the arguments, it does seem that most fans are actually in basic agreement — they appreciate Tay as a player, but bringing him back for four years sends the wrong message to fans.

    The fans, in general, are patient. They understand that the team is in no position to win now. As such, they’d rather see a 20-win team that’s at least TRYING to develop new talent, than a 30-win team with the rookies on the bench.

    I do understand this trade in that the Pistons had no better option to upgrade the 3. I dig Austin Daye, but he’s simply not the player of Prince’s caliber. So, I don’t hate the signing. Yet, if they also re-sign Stuckey, I might just throw in the towel. They’ll have to offer him MORE money than Prince, and they just wasted their lottery pick on Stuckey’s replacement. With a lottery pick in the wings, you’d think the Pistons believe they at least have a solid alternative at point guard (one that’s potentially more viable than Daye at the 3). And Knight might just be the breath of fresh air that draws FANS to the Palace.

    Yet, bringing Stuckey back (on a long-term deal no doubt) reunites the least enjoyable, most dysfunctional NBA team in my lifetime.

  • Dec 9, 201111:07 am
    by ASwede

    Reply

    I would also, in this matter, be the odd man out (with Max I guess) and actually like that they resigned Prince. Partly for his playing skills and his defensive talents where they really need to step up this year. But also because I think the franchise would benefit from some continuity and history. Rebuilding is great and necessary, but we also need some veteran guys to act like mentors and I would argue that Prince in the right circumstances would provide that.
    The Pistons have always been a team-first organization with great pride and I think it is valuable to have a few of guys around that where there for the last championship. One of the things that struck me in the years following that, during the playoffs they very often dug a big hole for themselves but never panicked. Kept grinding their way back into the game. That type of experience is needed and I think most of the young guys can’t provide that. Way to go Joe!

    • Dec 9, 201111:21 am
      by Steve K

      Reply

      If only they were that “team-first” organization…

      • Dec 9, 20113:39 pm
        by ASwede

        Reply

        Don’t see any superstars on the roster – do you?
        Probably the first team ever to win a championship without any hall of famers on the team. And with (for several years) the lowest scoring best team-scorer in the league. It has been a balanced act and that culture remains. But without the chemistry needed, which is why they struggle, I think.

  • Dec 9, 201111:27 am
    by ACR

    Reply

    I also don’t mind re-signing Prince to that contract.  He’s better than Daye at this point, and think about his trade value at the deadline in February – I’d like to believe that we could get more for him then from a team trying to make a championship run than a sign and trade for Chris Kaman or some other meager front court upgrade now.  Also, as some others have hinted at in this thread, we don’t know what else is going on right now in terms of deals – maybe Joe has some deal in the works involving Daye and one of the guards from our overstocked backcourt to bring in a legit power forward/center or a high draft pick.  If he’s got something in the works trading Daye and others, then re-signing Prince is a no brainer.

  • Dec 9, 201111:57 am
    by Stephen

    Reply

    Re the supposed trade value of Prince.
    Teams contending are going to be capped out,so the Pistons will be offered some player(s) the contending team thinks is worse than Prince,and maybe a First in the mid-to high twenties.  Woo-Hoo!

  • Dec 9, 20112:09 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    I’d like to point out that getting under the cap has never helped the Pistons in the past and it’s not likely to in the future.  Prince vs Dunleavy at any # is a joke because Dunleavy is probably little better than useless due to always being injured and Prince is a rock who is still way better than Dunleavy when both are healthy.  Who exactly will the Pistons sign if they ever get way under the cap?   Another Charlie V, Ben Gordon, Grant Long, Bison Dele and so on?  I’ve been a die hard fan for 30 years and the only free agent signing they made that ever really helped them was Billups and they got him for the midlevel and were therefore over the cap.  My point is, Pistons fans should relax because even though Gordon and Villinueva are way overpaid, Dumars’ history is generally to get good value for the dollar and too maintain flexibility.  He has never handed out a 15-20 million dollar deal and most teams have so 27 million for 4 years is nothing to worry about.  Further, Dumars signed Jerebko to 4 and 16 million and while someone said he might have been negotiating against himself, I’m very confidant Jerebko will outperform that contract and if Prince starts to decline in years 3 or 4, they can simply insert Daye or Jerebko into the starting SF slot and make Prince one of the best backup players in the league and he still wouldn’t be overpaid.

    • Dec 9, 20116:12 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Prince is overpaid right now. He is an average player. He can do lots of things well, but nothing very well (much less great). He has not shown any tendencies toward leadership or mentoring or whatever else. And the one player he fits well with, Rip, appears to have been bought out.

      • Dec 11, 20111:58 am
        by Max

        Reply

        He’s one of the best production versus turnovers players in NBA history.  He currently possesses one of the best hook shots in the league and while he doesn’t do a lot of things on an elite level, he does everything on an above average level and is one of the league’s more complete players.  Added to which, he could fit into any team easily and not a lot of players can say that.

  • Dec 9, 20112:29 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    BTW: Stuckey is a combo guard and can play with any other guard on the team and even any other two since he can play the three and is, in my belief, their best defender on LeBum.  Therefore, he doesn’t get in anyone’s way.  Even if he did, I would only worry about the development of Knight and the simple truth is that you can never really expect a rookie point guard to be good or get a lot of minutes right away.  if it happens great but even some all time great point guards were bad as rookies.  This year is even worse in that regard because there was no summer league with a truncated preseason.  It would be great if Knight could start next to Stuckey right away but if not, I think it would still be inevitable and I think theyu compliment each other well.  I pray they resign Stuckey because he is versatile and a good defender and scorer.  He has been given mixed messages the past few years about his role and has perhaps been too tentative but let me point out
    a few things…….1)As a rookie, he stepped into the starting role during the playoffs and dominated the Celtics who eventually went on to win the title.  Pierce singled Stuckey out as a player they couldn’t defend.  Stuckey wasn’t overburdened that series with trying to get everyone involved as they simply isolated him on one side of the floor and let him go.    2) After the Pistons made the horrible Billups for Iverson swap, Stuckey still did manage to get the team to the playoffs through all of the chaos.   3) During that same year, Stuckey started at shooting guard at times next to Will Bynum and averaged nearly 25 points doing so.  4) Stuckey turns the ball over the less than nearly any starting point guard.  4) They have not had productive scorers for him to pass to or to open up driving lanes for him to score the past two years.   5) He’s still young and everyone loved him when he was on a good squad, but dislike him as the #1 guy on a bad team.  Guess what, Greg Monroe has already eclipsed him and Prince as the Pistons best player.  If Knight can do the same, the Pistons could be great again by next year.

    • Dec 9, 20116:15 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      I like Stuckey too. But I find it hilarious that you are writing a comment defending him in which you reference “LeBum.” Calling James a bum relative to any present player is ridiculous but at least I can imagine where people are coming from when they are talking about other superstars. But Stuckey? Lebron is better than ten Stuckeys.

      • Dec 9, 201110:45 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        Due, I’ just hating on LBJ who I believe should have won the last five MVPs so LeBum has nothing to do with basketball.  I’m a Pistons fan and I love Stuckey and hate LeBum….that’s it.
        BTW:  I hate Wade too and I hated him long before “The Decision” or even his battles with the ‘Stones while paired with Shaq.  Any Pistons fan who wishes Joe had drafted Wade should consider that he insulted the organization during the courting phase of the draft by refusing to work out for them along with sending the message that as a Bulls fan, he hates the Pistons.  I actually respect his attitude, but I’d never want to see him wear the Pistons colors.   F him.

  • [...] amount of money spent on them. I’d be feeling a little queasy today if I was a Kings fan.- Tayshaun Prince was re-signed by Detroit. What?- In the saddest news of the day, Brandon Roy announced his retirement. I legitimately feel [...]

  • Dec 9, 20117:24 pm
    by Youssif

    Reply

    I don’t think it’s as much an issue of whether or not Tayshaun is a good player or offers good value at that contract as much as it is him getting valuable minutes that could go to helping some of the younger guys developing and gaining experience. A previous poster put it well: would you rather have a 20-win team with your young guys getting more minutes and developing faster or would you rather have a 30-win team starting a bunch of veterans? Considering 20 wins likely nets a better draft pick, I don’t see why you go after veterans. And that’s without mentioning Tayshaun’s proven reluctance to serve as a mentor to the young guys, not to mention his pouty ways. 

    If he’s fine taking a backseat to Daye/Jerebko in the event that they’ve proven their skill level is at least comparable to his (and in JJ’s case, he’s already done that pre-injury), I’m all for this deal.

  • Dec 29, 20119:06 am
    by jerry

    Reply

    You know this team ios lacking a true floor general. McGrady for the most part gave the team that last season but he is in Atlanta now and for the most part he looks alot better then last season. 

  • [...] one fell swoop, Dumars upgraded the current roster and improved the salary structure. All it took was trading a player he’s clearly fond of, a move many thought Dumars was incapable of making. Now, who knows Dumars’ limits? After this [...]

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