When Prince signed a four-year deal with the Pistons before last season, he knew Joe Dumars gave him a generous contract that would maintain a relationship and reward him within the organization past his playing career.
Prince understands there are contending teams that he can bolster, organizations that have inquired about him. He remains a savvy defender and a versatile playmaker offensively, averaging 12.1 points and 4.7 rebounds this season. Some across the league believe Prince, at 32 years old, and the Pistons would be smart to move on from each other. Nevertheless, Prince is assured the Pistons won’t field trade offers for him, and the two sides have “never” discussed dealing Prince, agent Bill Duffy told RealGM.
“I know there are a lot of contending teams that I can help,” Prince told RealGM. “But right now, this is the team I have to help. Everybody wants to be in the position where they have a chance of winning a championship every year, but obviously it doesn’t work that way.”
I don’t know what to say anymore, man. Joe Dumars has repeatedly shown great deference to veteran players, and he appears to hold Tayshaun Prince in especially high regard. As disappointing as this report is, it really shouldn’t shock.
Look, I’m not saying the Pistons should necessarily trade Prince. They very likely could make the playoffs next season with Prince as their top small forward, so now isn’t the time to downgrade a starting spot.
But the Pistons aren’t good enough to limit their options. If a contender is willing to offer a good prospect or a good draft pick, the Pistons should explore that. As well as Prince has played this year, he hasn’t earned a gratuitous no-trade clause.
Dumars should embrace progress over comfort.
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