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.
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