The Detroit Pistons have a multitude of problems, but there is one they can rectify in the near future — get Rodney Stuckey off the roster. Stuckey has never come close to fulfilling the potential fans saw early in his career and the veteran needs a change of scenery before his play spirals further out of control.
There is a realistic chance that the Pistons buy out Stuckey’s $8.5 million contract this off-season, a far cry from a couple of seasons ago when he was being pegged a cornerstone for the franchise.
Stuckey’s decline has been hard to watch, but he deserves a good portion of the blame as he has essentially played himself out of a meaningful role on the team. Never known as a threat from deep, Stuckey has attempted far more 3-point shots (147, 2.3 a game) than ever before despite playing the least amount of minutes since his rookie season. He’s hoisting them up from downtown, but he’s hitting just an abysmal 26 percent of those attempts.
The sixth-year guard recently acknowledged he’s better with the ball in his hands, but that is something that will no longer work with this rebuilding Pistons franchise. Young pieces Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond and Brandon Knight have emerged as future pieces to the Pistons’ core and the team acquired a pass-first point guard in Jose Calderon at the deadline to ensure that team would finally run more smoothly and efficiently.
With Knight and Calderon clearly more important to Pistons’ current setup, Stuckey has seen his opportunities severely limited. In past seasons, he has been able to somewhat work around that, averaging a better than league average PER since the 2009-10 season. However, his efficiency rating has taken a nose dive this season to a low 12.7.
It’s time for Rodney Stuckey to find a new home. While there’s no reason he can’t become a scoring leader for the Pistons’ second unit, the relationship between the player and the team has obviously soured and it appears likely Stuckey will be moved on before long.
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