Rodney Stuckey may have felt a little slighted by the Detroit Pistons during the offseason.
Rather than Stuckey getting a lot of attention for what he could do for the team during the 2013-14 season, the Pistons brought in new stars, including Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith. At Stuckey’s guard position, they drafted a rookie, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, as No. 1 and reacquired aging Chauncey Billups.
It’s like ownership was forgetting Stuckey was still on the team.
Last season, with various poor performances, it was Stuckey himself who forgot he was on the team. He forget what happened in December 2011, a few days before the NBA started a season shortened by a lockout. He signed a three-deal worth a reported $25 million.
Stuckey has not earned his money in his first two seasons. Not even close. His numbers are down, his attitude has soured, and he never showed the instinct to be a true leader and dominant player who could carry the team on his back to win close games.
So, Stuckey may get one more chance. There’s been occasional talk of a trade if the Pistons can find a taker.
Right now, the team is focusing on Stuckey in the lineup. He feuded with former coach Lawrence Frank last season, but Frank is gone and Stuckey is still on the roster. Brandon Knight, who was probably more of a fan favorite than Stuckey, was traded. He averaged 11.5 points, 3.6 assists and 2.6 rebounds a game last season; that’s off from his numbers of 13.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 4.2 assists in his career. The Pistons would like to see Stuckey go back to a previous season high of 16.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game.
There’s no reason he can’t have a banner year, especially with an upgrade of talent on his team. Stuckey has the talent, he just needs more desire this season and to take more pride in helping his team. The Pistons should make the playoffs with or without Stuckey, but their chances are better with him.