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Could Pistons looking at big men in the draft convince Jason Maxiell to opt out?

Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News talked to Andy Miller, Jason Maxiell‘s agent, about whether or not Maxiell will exercise his out clause and become a free agent. This passage was interesting:

The upcoming draft is a factor, especially for the Pistons, who, by all accounts, will draft a big man.

“The draft has played somewhat of a role, not because they are better players (than Maxiell) but it’s letting you know where a team is going,” Miller said.

With the NBA’s economic climate as such, it’s hard to envision Maxiell getting $5 million annually in a new deal from a new team, but capitalizing on this good year and receiving a long-term deal could be the best move.

If the Pistons don’t use the Amnesty Clause and bring back Charlie Villanueva, it’s likely he’ll receive more playing time than the crumbs he got at the end of the year.

Factor in a young big who the Pistons will give every chance to develop, Maxiell’s earning’s potential — and leverage headed into the summer of 2013 — could be severely lessened.

I honestly don’t think any big man the Pistons draft at nine will be good enough to take many minutes from Maxiell off the bat, as long as Maxiell comes back in as good a shape and as motivated next season as he was this season, especially of the big the Pistons end up with is a project like Andre Drummond or Meyers Leonard. I found it interesting that Ben Wallace‘s potential retirement wasn’t mentioned here as something that will free up some frontcourt minutes. Perhaps another glimmer of hope that Wallace intends to play another season?

I don’t begrudge Maxiell and his agent making the best decision for his career. At 29, with a game reliant on athleticism, he might only have one multi-year deal left, so if his agent feels like this offseason would be the best opportunity to get it, he should certainly go for it. But it would certainly be good for the Pistons to have Maxiell back one more season, particularly in a contract year.

31 Comments

  • Jun 15, 201211:17 pm
    by Eric

    Reply

    Frank seems to be the guy who values playing rookies, since he gave a lot of minutes to Knight off the bat. So the ninth pick better and should get more minutes than Maxiel if he stays. Wallace did not play much last season, so it’s not a surprise he was not mentioned.

    • Jun 15, 201211:23 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Well, Wallace didn’t play starter minutes, but 16 minutes a game is a fairly significant chunk of playing time they’ll have to account for if he retires, especially if Villanueva continues to be awful.

      As for Frank playing rookies, I think it depends. Obviously, if they lose Maxiell and Wallace, whoever they draft will play a lot. But there are bigs who might be available there — Sullinger, Henson, Zeller — who might be more NBA-ready than the more ‘project’ guys — Drummond and Leonard.

      Also, something to account for with young bigs vs. young guards like Knight: young bigs tend to foul more than and not be as well conditioned as young guards, making it easier to play guards more at that stage in their development. I expect whoever they draft to be a rotation player and contributor, but not necessarily play near the minutes Knight did as a rookie.

      • Jun 15, 201211:42 pm
        by Eric

        Reply

        I think it’s safe to say that not many people expected Knight to get as many minutes as he did.

        • Jun 16, 201212:12 am
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          For sure. But he did because he was in great shape, durable and they had backcourt injuries to Stuckey, Gordon and Bynum at different points in the season, so they probably played him more minutes than they originally planned to out of necessity.

      • Jun 16, 20125:48 pm
        by Andrew

        Reply

        Meyers Leonard seems to be unusually well conditioned for a young seven footer.  If he doesn’t play his rookie season, it’s probably that he isn’t a good enough basketball player yet that is the problem, rather than his endurance.

  • Jun 15, 201211:58 pm
    by RationalSportsFan

    Reply

    “Could Pistons looking at big men in the draft convince Jason Maxiell to opt out?”
     
    I sure hope so…

    • Jun 16, 201212:11 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Well, I certainly don’t want Maxiell to be any kind of future part of the team necessarily, but if he opts out, it will hurt not only on the court in the immediate future, but it will also take away an expiring contract the Pistons could possibly use in a trade during th eseason.

      • Jun 16, 201212:15 am
        by RationalSportsFan

        Reply

        I have zero worries about the short-term implications, given how far we are from being relevant.
         
        As far as the expiring deal goes, I see more value in having an extra 5MM to spend on potential FA’s, or to convince us to use our amnesty of Chuck or BenG to throw more money at a better option…

        • Jun 16, 20129:13 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Unless a couple other things happen, Maxiell off the books won’t give the Pistons any additional cap room. But if they are under the cap even with him on the team, his opting out would definitely be a plus, because they could absorb another $5M just as if they had a $5M expiring deal to throw in. But not sending anything back is often even more valuable than sending back a somewhat overpaid guy.

        • Jun 16, 20122:08 pm
          by Chris H

          Reply

          I really hadn’t thought about Max’s salary off of the books, but if Max is at this point better than any other player we draft then I am all for him leaving.  We’re going to be back in the lottery anyway, so if losing Max means a few more losses then fine by me at this point.

        • Jun 18, 201210:43 am
          by CNA5

          Reply

          Depending on what happens to the Celtics in the offseason, the East could have only 3 50+ win teams with a large mass of teams with 38-44 wins.  If we’re talking about relevance being making the playoffs as an 8 seed versus being in the late draft, then Maxiell’s decision definitely matters.
          If relevance means contention, then you’re right.  Jason Maxiell is not the difference from a lottery team to a team that will win a couple of playoff series.
           

  • Jun 16, 201212:37 am
    by Mark

    Reply

    ^yeah I’d rather use that $5 mil/yr on some other big like Kaman maybe, than keep Maxiell.

    I get that some of the bigs in the draft are projects, but thats all the more reason they should get big minutes next year to develop. If Maxiell is playing over our #1 pick next year, Pistons fans will go crazy, lol.

    • Jun 16, 20121:59 am
      by tim

      Reply

      people are ridiculous if they think you can get a big better than maxiell for 5 mil, even with the new cba.  kaman will command a deal greater than the MLE.  maybe we could get memo back for 5 per, but does he fit a role better than max on this team?

      • Jun 16, 20122:12 am
        by Mike Payne

        Reply

        The problem is that Maxiell isn’t worth half of the MLE and Kaman isn’t worth a third of the MLE.

        • Jun 16, 20129:15 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Really, you honestly think Kaman should get a deal for under $2M/yr? I mean, he can’t be relied upon for much. But he can contribute much more than $2M worth. If any contender got him for that much, I’m sure you would be among those who thought they got a steal. Ok, I’m not sure, but if you weren’t among them, you’d just be wrong.

  • Jun 16, 201212:40 am
    by Reaction

    Reply

    Do you think Dumars will make some dumb moves to make our team slightly more competitive to get us in the playoffs (but hurts us long term since we will be stuck at the bottom of the playoff teams) next year as some newspapers say Gores expects him to?

  • Jun 16, 20123:37 am
    by gmehl

    Reply

    I would be fine with Maxiell exercising his clause to stay next season. We can use him as trade bait come the trade deadline when contenders are trying to shore up there front line in the run to the playoffs. 5 million won’t get you much in a trade player for player but if Max is playing solid then you’d think we can get at least a 1st rounder for him (from a contender…so it will be a late pick). Whomever we draft at 9 is going to be a project so splitting minutes with Max and going head to head at practice with him is only going to benefit the incoming rookie. The key here is Max being in his contract year which if you go on history it’s almost certain that he will which will hopefully have Joe’s phone ringing off the hook before the all-star break. We missed out on getting a 1st rounder last year for Prince and it would be criminal if Joe doesn’t try and get something for Max.

  • Jun 16, 20123:44 am
    by MrBlockedShot

    Reply

    Frankly,given the case that Maxiell is back,which I hope not, at least I wish he doesn’t take minutes away from developing our youngs.It makes sense for both the team and the player to have him back ( one more year to prove he’s worth a last better contract in case of the player and somewhat trading asset in his last year for the team) The only thing I expect from him is come back in shape, ready to contribute and take advantage of his minutes on the court. There will be a lot of fight next year for the frontcourt minutes: Monroe, Draft picks ( I guess two of them will be inside players), Macklin, JJ, Wallace?, Villanueva?, Maxiell? Of course a few of them might not make the team next year though. But it’s clear to me that is the most likely scenario. Obviously it is all up to Mr Dumars and all our predictions could be a waste of time by the draft day arrives.

  • Jun 16, 20125:12 am
    by Mark

    Reply

    back to the draft…i am a firm believer that if the talent level is close, then you take leonard.  everyone has us taking henson with the 9 but what does he bring to the table (long or short term) that leonard doesnt?  If maxiel leaves, don’t we need a frontcourt player to eat those 10-15 minutes?  We need to realize that Maxiel, although i love the hustle and effort, is not a solution, hes a stopgap.  We can find a stopgap for much less than 5 mil per yr.

  • Jun 16, 20125:22 am
    by Mark

    Reply

    we have a young core here and the opp to even our our guard-heavy  roster.  do we not have a young pg that shows every intention of improving on his solid rook yr? yeah he had flaws, but he shows intangibles that leave me no doubt that he will show up a diff player next yr.  hes a worker.  i love that, you cant kick him out of the gym.  same can be said for stick and monroe.   if these guys make big leaps than taking a developmental player, like leaonard, wouldntn be a terriblel thing.

  • Jun 16, 20126:28 am
    by Vince

    Reply

    Draft the best big that is available at 9, and if Maxiell doesn’t get the hint, amnesty Villanueva and sign Thompson, he’s a solid young player, strong, good defender and can play both PF and C. He’s a good pickup. Whoever we have at 9 can back him and/or Moose up.

  • Jun 16, 20129:03 am
    by Giles mills

    Reply

    All, I know is maxiell coming off the bench for the pistons would be great again, he still gives the team a toughness that the others don’t give off… And as far as macklin goes, in alot of those sullinger highlights, macklin was the pf/ c that was really getting abused.

  • Jun 16, 201210:24 am
    by Corey

    Reply

    As long as we never sign Max to another extension. He’ll eat himself out of the league on his next contract. If he stays, he’s a great trade chip, and his minutes can go to whomever we draft after he’s traded. I am personally ok with one more year in the lottery, if it comes about through winning 35 games with the young guys leading the team and developing. We can afford a guy who’s a couple years away like Leonard as the whole young core needs to develop before we’ll make noise in the playoffs anyway.

    I don’t want us to waste cap space this summer on a mediocre mid-level pickup, as we could have real $$ available for a top free agent next year, if we amnesty Gordon. Jason Thompson, though, I think could be a great signing, if we can actually get him. Sacramento would be daft not to match a midlevel offer for Thompson, but that team is so messed up it just might work, especially if they draft another big man (eg Drummond).

  • Jun 16, 20122:49 pm
    by ozmania

    Reply

    Kyle Singler’s team Real Madrid lost the final game against Barcelona. Barcelona won the Spanish league title.

    Kyle played 27 minutes (12 pts 0/2 2FG – 3/4 3FG – 3/6 FTG – 2 Rebs – 1 ast).

    • Jun 16, 20124:56 pm
      by MrBlockedShot

      Reply

      Good game by Singler, but his team lost the spanish championship. His stats were good according to his role and european standards but he missed a key layup in the last seconds. More likely he has played his last game in Spain and is ready to jump to the NBA. Anyway his future might be far from Detroit as his rights could be a trading asset come the draft day. In that case I hope we got somebody valuable as he has been playing many minutes for one year overseas and has the experience and minutes no other rookie would have earn benched or with limited minutes in the NBA. Let’s wait and see…

  • Jun 16, 201210:50 pm
    by Marcus

    Reply

    After reading the entire article I don’t belive that his agent is only refering to the Pistons when he speaks of potentially drafting a big man…. it seems to me that Max has a couple other teams out there who have expressed interest in him, and if they were to draft a big man it would decrease his market and therefore make it less likely that he opts out.

    Personally, I was always a big fan of Max as our 4th big. A high energy guy who could play a solid 10-15 min a night. Unfortunately our collective talent level haven’t allowed him to play in that role, and I think he’s been exposed in starters minutes. Again, I’m pro-max… but given his age and the state of our team I hope he finds better sitatution elsewhere.

  • Jun 17, 20121:22 am
    by Vince

    Reply

    Uh oh Ford is predicting Pistons draft Jeremy Lamb at 9. Please. No.

    • Jun 17, 20129:22 am
      by acr

      Reply

      no he isn’t – he has them picking Henson.  Lamb is #9 on his “Top 100″ list, but in his mock draft 7.0, he has them picking Henson.

  • Jun 17, 20123:46 am
    by Nick

    Reply

    I really think the only big the pistons need to draft at #9 is Perry Jones III. He is the only big at #9 with superstar potential. His only flaw is his motor, but I believe we have the right coach to fix that problem. Once he hangs around Monroe and Knight he will not have that motor issue. The other bigs the Pistons are considering at 9 are no better than the bigs we can get in the 2nd round. Just imagine the match up problems PJ3 will cause for nba sf’s. Then just draft a 7 footer in the 2nd round Detroit would be set. Please Joe brings us PJ3. He will be a superstar in their system.

  • Jun 17, 20121:23 pm
    by Tiko

    Reply

    Let’s say Max opts out and Joe lets him go. Then trades Daye and Bynum for cap space. Then amnesties Charlie V. Do we have the space to absorb Okafor’s contact? We need another pick in our range…

  • Jun 17, 20126:10 pm
    by Pete

    Reply

    I think the Pistons should be looking at Leonard, Henson, Moultrie, then PJ3 or Sullinger in that order and try to trade those tow 2nd round picks into a low 1st and go after Royce White, Fab Melo, Nicholson.

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