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Tayshaun Prince, Rodney Stuckey announced in ESPN’s #NBARank

Greg Monroe will be the highest ranked Piston in ESPN’s annual #NBARank feature, as it should be.

It hasn’t been unveiled yet exactly where Monroe will rank, but the only other two Pistons who had yet to make the rankings (besides Slava Kravstov, who won’t appear in the rankings) appeared in the last few days.

Tayshaun Prince came in at No. 144 after being ranked No. 105 last season. Rodney Stuckey just missed the top 100, coming in at No. 103. That’s a modest improvement from last season when he was ranked No. 108. But it does put both among ‘solid starter’ range if you consider five starters per team times 30 teams is 150 players.

Now, because of where those two players are at in their careers, it’s likely Prince’s ranking will go down by next year, but I think Stuckey, if he stays healthy, has a good chance to make a significant leap forward. Monroe, Brandon Knight and Andre Drummond have higher ceilings at this point and could all make big leaps next year, but it’s not inconceivable to think Stuckey could sneak up into the top 50ish range or so.

Here’s how the Pistons’ 15 players – plus Ben Wallace – rank:

Above 101: Greg Monroe

103: Rodney Stuckey

144: Tayshaun Prince

177. Brandon Knight

206. Jonas Jerebko

221. Corey Maggette

241. Jason Maxiell

244. Will Bynum

245. Austin Daye

262. Charlie Villanueva

277. Andre Drummond

303. Ben Wallace

407. Kyle Singler

441. Kim English

485. Khris Middleton

Unranked: Vyacheslav Kravtsov


  • Sep 12, 20121:48 pm
    by Adam


    Yes, it’s a modest improvement in rank from last year.  However, Stuck’s score dropped .05 from last year (5.45 to 5.40).  I wish ESPN would have included each player’s previous score in addition to previous rank.

    • Sep 12, 20122:04 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      If you look at his collective body of work last year, he declined statistically overall in a few areas, so I think that hurt his score. Personally, Dan (I would guess, I don’t know the score he gave) and I probably graded him a bit higher simply because we had a more nuanced view of him and saw the brilliant flash of play in Feb/March. I could definitely see how others who didn’t watch him as much may have graded him a tad lower than last year though.

      • Sep 13, 201211:43 am
        by MrHappyMushroom


        Patrick, I’m still seeing the optimism blinders (and I fight them myself).
        Yeah, Stuck had a fabulous Feb/March. But he started off the season very poorly and was downright awful over the last month.  And, as you say, the overall numbers were maybe even down a little.
        He’s a good sixth man. But if the Piston fans are counting on him as one of our “Big Three”, this team will top out at 43 wins during their best season with him.

  • Sep 12, 20122:43 pm
    by Otis


    Stuckey exists in a perpetual state of “having a good chance to make a significant leap forward.” It’s his mantra, for crying out loud! They’ll probably carve it on his gravestone. Personally, if he doesn’t suddenly take the leap to legitimate All-Star status (and nothing indicates he will), I wouldn’t give him the chance to finish the season in Detroit. Here’s my rationale:
    We’re playing with fire with this guy. He’s certainly got physical tools, but he’s not a PLUS player at any position unless it’s as a sixth man instant offense boost off the bench. And that’s fine, but thanks to his status as Joe’s pet and the centerpiece of the league’s worst rebuilding effort in recent memory, he’s on a dangerous trajectory in terms of pay grade. When Joe prematurely anointed him as Chauncey’s successor, the idea was to have a younger cheaper point man and spread the team’s financial resources elsewhere (er, apparently at SG… ugh), but five years later and with nothing to show for it, he’s fetching nearly eight figures, and the next time he’s up for a raise he’ll cost what Chauncey did when we jettisoned him. It doesn’t add up.
    When he signed his latest contract, some people applauded it as a win-win, but I see it as a lose-lose unless: (1) suddenly, and without warning, he becomes an All-Star, or (2) we can flip him for something of value. As it is, he’s being paid based on the reasonable peak of his potential, which is a dangerous precedent. If he goes out and plays up to his contract, he’s not going to get another $8.5M/yr deal; he’ll get another raise that he’ll have to play up to. Contracts should be based on reasonable expectations, not the promise of what a sixth year veteran’s potential might some day become.
    When it comes to Stuckey, what you see is probably what you get. He’s maybe a $7.5M player until he starts to decline. He gives you reasonable value on his current contract, but I don’t see anything good coming at the end of his current contract. Stuckey’s either going to underperform, or Joe’s going to throw good money after bad and lock up another unspectacular player at near-max dollars. I don’t think this guy is going to get you to the next level, and the next 12 months is the time to turn things around. If this team’s ever going to be contenders, they’re going to have to move some assets around. I just don’t see how this Stuckey business is going to end well unless we trade him.

    • Sep 12, 20124:06 pm
      by gordbrown


      For the 1000th time (at least), Billups was not traded so that Stuckey could start in his place. Iverson and Hamilton were the starting guards after the trade. it was only after Hamilton got hurt that Stuckey moved into the starting rotation. He stayed there because neither Hamilton or Iverson were healthy at the same time for the rest of the season (and Iverson was mercifully gone after that). Billups was traded for cap space and the issue was that the guys that came from that cap space have been a problem. But that’s a separate debate.

      • Sep 12, 20124:09 pm
        by Patrick Hayes


        He wasn’t traded necessarily so Stuckey would start immediately, but he was definitely traded so Stuckey could start sooner rather than later.

        • Sep 12, 20124:23 pm
          by gordbrown


          Not saying it wasn’t part of the thinking, but a lot of the mindless Stuckey hate stems from this. And I reiterate, the thinking behind the trade was the team had maxed out and Iverson was an expiring contract. That was what the trade was trying to accomplish, creating cap space.

          • Sep 12, 20125:42 pm
            by Otis

            What are you even arguing here?? Joe (mistakenly) saw Stuckey as the point guard of the future, so he (incorrectly) deemed Chauncey expendable. Do you think he trades Chauncey if he didn’t think Stuckey was the heir apparent at PG? Do you think it’s a coincidence that Joe drafted Stuckey and traded Chauncey (of all Pistons) the next year??

          • Sep 12, 20128:43 pm
            by RyanK

            Lets get this straight.  Billups’ half ass efforts in the playoffs is why he was traded.  Stuckey and Billups could co-exist, but Joe D had enough…I can’t blame him.  They won a championship in 2004 and went on acting like they were world champions for the next 5 season.  
            Google Webber’s comments about what Joe D said that team and you’ll be able to read between the lines.  I saw the same thing…a team that was happy making to the Eastern Finals and shut it down there year after year. 
            It became obvious there were no more championship with that team and Joe D made a move.  That move was not a mistake.  The mistake was using the cap space to bring Gordon and CV.  But these were independent free agent signings, not connected by Billups being traded.

      • Sep 12, 20125:37 pm
        by Otis


        WTF? Dude if you understand that Chauncey was traded for cap space, then you can’t have expected the Pistons to extend Iverson, making Stuckey the team’s point guard. Of everything that I said in my comment above, the LEAST objectionable part was that Joe intended Stuckey to be a cheaper replacement for Chauncey.

        • Sep 12, 20128:10 pm
          by Max


          Take Joe at at his word.  The summer before trading Billups. Dumars said he had seen enough and that the roster had no sacred cows.  
          A lot of you are still crying about that trade but ask yourself where the Pistons would be now if he hadn’t decided the 04 team’s run was over?   In my opinion, they’d be about 2 to 3 years behind the current rebuilding process and wouldn’t have an asset like Monroe.  Also, while they probably had another year or two as a fifty win team, they were done going to the finals. 

  • Sep 12, 20128:18 pm
    by Max


    Stuckey is going to prove the doubters wrong.   He was a scoring monster when healthy last year as he was a few years ago when the Pistons injury problems shifted him to shooting guard with either Will Bynum or Chucky Atkins running the show.   A lot of you were yelling for years that Stuckey should be a two guard and now you are giving up on him after he got only one lockout season at the spot, missed the abbreviated training camp and played the absolute best ball of his career after he got going.   The team now  suits him and his style of play more than it ever did before and the young players are finally more emphasized than the veterans in general–with Prince the lone holdover getting lots of minutes.  The Pistons also finally have a good coach which is something Stuckey had never experienced before.   Stuckey is going to kill it this year and maybe rise more spots on this poll than any other veteran player in the league by next year.   Mark it down. 

  • Sep 13, 20126:36 am
    by Derek


    I’m marking and co-signing your words Max.  After multiple years of being ousted in the Eastern Conference Finals, Dumars put the team on notice.  “There no sacred cows here.  You lose that sacred cow status when you lose three straight years.” 

    That team should have won multiple titles, they appeared to be their worse enemy at times.  They went from workman to entitled complainers.  Complacency set in and changes had to be made.  It would have been my preference to move Rip, Prince, and Wallace before Billups, but Chauncey didn’t want to stay.

    Dumars approached Billups about the direction of the team going forward and Mr. Big Shot said he didn’t want to be a part of a rebuilding project and he didn’t want to groom anyone to take his spot.  Dumars honored Billups for his committment to the team and traded him to his desired destination: home (Denver, Co.). 

    The expectation was to clear up cap space to the tune of $35 million.  So it was a good monetary move.  It would have been a serviceable personnel move, if Stuckey’s potential would have been realized, if AI wasn’t a cancer to the team, if we had the right coach at the helm, and a ton of other variables that were out of our control.

    Stuckey will make a sizeable impact this year.  Will he be an all star?  idk.  All star game is really a popularity contest for marketable personalities.  Moose has a better chance.  Will Stuckey make another statistical jump?  Yes.  He’s a better player both skill and attitude wise.  Along with Max, I’m expecting big things from Rodney Stuckey.

    • Sep 13, 201211:48 am
      by MrHappyMushroom


      But you are assuming that he won’t miss 10 – 20% of the games due to injury and be hobbled and less effective for another 10-15%. And that’s been Stuckey for four of his five years.  Can’t blame him for that, but it’s part of who he is.  I’ll be surprised if he plays 75 games this year.

      • Sep 13, 20127:18 pm
        by Max


        This notion of Stuckey being injury prone is one of the most overblown topics I’ve noted on these boards.  For one thing, he’s had a much healthier career than Dwayne Wade, for another, Stuckey has never experienced a serious injury that would cast any shadow on his career.  
        The Pistons were so remarkable healthy for so many years that it was a minor miracle.   This is the only explanation I can see for Pistons fans labeling Stuckey as injury prone.   Truly injury prone players include ones like Camby, Stoudamire, Ilgauskas and Smits but even they experienced lots of early issues before actually having fairly healthy primes.   Stuckey is just entering his prime and doesn’t deserve to be grouped with players like these who either did or approached missing multiple seasons anyway. 
        For me, last year was his most frustrating in terms of health but the injury troubles are easily dismissed.   He was a free agent going into a lockout and sensibly didn’t perform his normal summer routines so he wouldn’t get hurt.   He came in a bit out of shape and pulled his groin early and a groin is the kind of issue that can last all year even during a normal season.   Stuckey admitted at the time of injury that it would probably effect him all season.  Now a groin injury is bad in the short term and maybe for a whole season but it has nothing to do with a player’s future and again, Stuckey has never had an injury that limits his full potential.  There is more reason to suspect Dwight Howard will not be himself this year or ever again than there is to cast doubt on Stuckey because Howard arguably has a bad back.  There is nothing like that to throw at Stuckey.  Finally, until last season, the notion of Stuckey as injury prone would have been overwhelmingly absurd as with the exception of his rookie year, he never failed to play in less than 70 games.  

  • Sep 13, 20124:20 pm
    by Derek


    I am making that assumption.  It seems like you’re making an assumption that he will miss those games.  Hmm.  I guess that’s why they play the games.  Let’s see what happens during the season.

  • Sep 18, 20121:04 pm
    by Derek


    Greg Monroe is number 49.

    Let’s get this season underway so he can prove he deserves a 20 spot jump!!

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