The Detroit Pistons Need To Trade Rodney Stuckey

By Mike Klompstra
Rodney Stuckey
Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

Rodney Stuckey is having one of the best seasons of his career so far. For being a highly criticized player for the Detroit Pistons the past few seasons, it has to be a good feeling for everyone involved. While he is not blowing away any of his previous seasons in terms of total stats, he is scoring around his career average at a much more efficient rate.

So, it may not be too much of a surprise to hear that Detroit doesn’t want to part with Hot Rod. According to NBA insider Ken Berger of CBS Sports, a league source has indicated that the Pistons “are not trading [him].” If this is truly the case, this will be another huge mistake made by GM Joe Dumars and the rest of the Pistons’ front office. Stuckey is probably at the top of his game right now, and his trade value is as high as it is ever going to be.

It is no coincidence that Stuckey is playing so well in a contract year. He is essentially due for his employee evaluation, except this time it is with the entire league, not just the Pistons organization. Because of this, every game has a lasting effect upon his last chance at a substantial payday. Moreover, Stuckey should be on the front end of the prime of his playing years right now. What he will be able to offer a team now is likely the most he will be able to offer for the rest of his time in the NBA. If the Pistons plan on re-signing him, they will be signing a top-level bench player without potential for a drastic improvement.

Stuckey’s contract status is another reason why his trade value will never be higher. Teams looking to shed cap space will gladly take on Stuckey’s modest contract. For a rental, a team could do much worse than Stuckey. In fact, Stuckey’s contract and mid-level play protect his tradability. He would be a solid veteran off the bench for a contending team, and he doesn’t have the capability to elevate his teammates too much on a franchise hoping to tank for a high draft pick. The options are wide open for a move before the trade deadline.

If the Pistons are planning on retaining Stuckey after this season, they are obviously not going to trade him, but there isn’t a whole lot of upside to keeping him around other than for reasons of continuity. Stuckey is the most-tenured player on the Pistons’ roster, and it is possible they view him as a leader of the organization. Plenty of mediocre players serve as role models in a leadership position for their team. However, most of these players are aging veterans with a limited time left in the league or surrounded by several better players, often including a superstar. Stuckey falls into neither of these categories, and his stock will never be higher. If the Pistons know what is good for them, they will trade him soon.

Mike Klompstra is a Detroit Pistons blogger for Follow him on Twitter @CityofKlompton, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.

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