All eyes were on Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe when the Detroit Pistons‘ biggest men were at the USA national tryouts this past week trying to state their case for making the team.
It wasn’t that long ago when some thought that Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey would be at this level. After has third NBA season in 2010, Stuckey was standing rather tall among Pistons players. It seemed certain he was the player of the future after averaging 34.2 minutes, 16.6 points, 4.8 assists and 3.8 rebounds a game.
But in the three seasons after that, all those numbers have gone down mysteriously. Stuckey’s 2012-13 season was his third-straight decline in various areas. He was only at 28.6 minutes, 11.5 points, 3.6 assists and 2.8 rebounds a game. His decline is among the reasons the Pistons haven’t seriously challenged for playoff spots.
Stuckey’s zest for the game seemed to decline as the Pistons expected more court leadership from him. He never seemed ready to fill the role vacated by Chauncey Billups in 2009. When Stuckey started gaining more attention from defenses, he just wasn’t the same player.
Lawrence Frank wasn’t about to change this. Frank, in fact, had soured on his relationship with Stuckey. One of them had to go and it turned out to be Frank. If Frank had stayed as coach this season, there was no way Stuckey would be on the roster. The two didn’t like each other at all.
Stuckey will be gone by the end of this season, if not before, if he doesn’t show new coach Maurice Cheeks a strong work ethic. Don’t hold your breath.