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Internal Improvement: Jason Maxiell

Tom Gores said it better happen. Jonas Jerebko guaranteed it. Rodney Stuckey agreed.

The Detroit Pistons can certainly make the playoffs this season, but given how similar the team is to last year’s, it won’t be easy. It appears the Pistons are mostly relying on internal improvement in order to exceed expectations and reach the postseason.

For our 2012 preview series, Patrick and I will each examine one area where we see realistic room for improvement from each Piston. Today, we look at Jason Maxiell.


Jason Maxiell has his ups and downs, but I’m fine with what he is: a space clogger who is usually well positioned on defense but not terribly great on that end, a good rebounder when he wants to be and a decent mid-range jump shooter. If he plays like he did last season, I’ll be fine with it.

What I absolutely don’t want is Maxiell to improve – not in a contract year year where a moderate boost in production due to getting in shape would mask the deficiencies he’s shown the previous few seasons. Because the Pistons would definitely re-sign him to a four-year, $16 million contract, and we definitely don’t want that. — D.F.

Another contract year won’t hurt anyone

As Dan said above, there’s little at this point that Maxiell can do better. He pretty much is what he is — a very serviceable rotation big man.

But I also don’t mind him earning one last good contract. I certainly hope the Pistons don’t overpay him, but since he takes mostly high percentage shots, I’d like to see him get his field goal percentage up over 50 percent. He’d been over 50 percent for four straight seasons before falling to 49 and 41 percent the last two. And, for that matter, get better at the free throw line. Maxiell has a reliable 12-15 foot jumper. There’s no reason he should only shoot 55 percent from the free throw line. — P.H.



  • Oct 17, 201212:07 pm
    by bobby


    doesn’t 4 years 4 million sound fair right now? we’re paying him 5 million this year. but when building a competitive team that can go far in the playoffs (in a few years we’ll hopefully be there?), having solid consistent bench players is hard to come by. 4 million seems worth it for a seventh or eighth man!

    how much would you be willing to pay him? 

    • Oct 17, 201212:19 pm
      by bvpiston


      Well, maybe 4 million sounds about right, but I’m a little uneasy with giving him a a contract for any period beyond 2 years. One of Max’s strong suits is his athleticism, which allows him to grab a few boards and block some shots. But, he’s pushing 30, and soon his athleticism will start to fade and along with that, his production. That’s why a long term deal might be good for him(and maybe well earned) but not good for the Pistons. Maybe he’ll get a longer contract elsewhere. He might even get it here. He’s a good player to have around in the frontcourt, plays hard, and that short jumper of his is money right now. I like him. If it’s possible, I’d like to have him back, on a decent deal.
      Dan, Patrick, not a big deal, and maybe you’ve noticed, but the last two pieces on “Internal Improvement”, this one and the one on Kim English have Brandon Knight as the player in the last sentence of the intro paragraphs: Today, we look at Brandon Knight.

    • Oct 17, 201212:22 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      I don’t know about Dan, but I’d pay him $4 million, just not for four years. He’ll turn 30 during the season and with a game that is pretty much built on athleticism, you never know how long that will last.

      Plus, the last time he had a long-term contract, he didn’t take conditioning seriously for about two of those seasons. 

  • Oct 17, 20121:14 pm
    by Gregoire


    No way the Pistons should resign this guy and certainly not for 4 Million/year…trade him for a second round pick or just let him walk…

  • Oct 17, 20122:01 pm
    by Crispus


    We really could have someone dynamic playing there. The less veteran congestion on the roster going forward the better. I have a feeling he’ll be wanted elsewhere.

  • Oct 17, 20122:49 pm
    by Corey


    Resigning Maxiel on anything but a one-year deal would be a mistake – and even that would be a mistake for the Pistons. He didn’t take his conditioning seriously until last year, when he had a player option. If he has a 3-4 year contract and is on the high side of 30, he’ll be out of shape and a marginal 9th man at best.

  • Oct 17, 20126:04 pm
    by Max


    I think this a conversation to have at the end of the season or maybe even later.   Dumars needn’t think about it right now.   It could very well be the Drumstor starts sooner than later and Maxiell loses a lot of minutes this year as one of many fairly equal but different bench options for Frank.  I really wouldn’t be surprised if Maxiell becomes somewhat irrelevant by the end of the season or sustains 20 plus minutes a game but I think it will depend more on how other players fare than how Maxiell performs.  If Monroe starts to prefer playing PF and both rookie centers work out, it will make little sense to offer Maxiell much as Monroe’s backup unless the team plans on making Jerebko the starting small forward.    And let’s not forget that the Pistons will have money to spend on free agents next summer.  Better and cheaper options at Maxiell’s position might be available.  Will the Pistons still need him a year from now is a pretty open question.

  • Oct 18, 20121:24 am
    by Jack


    How about 0 years 0 million, put him on the bench and ship him out to Canada!!!

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