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2011 Free Agency, NBA / Dec 14, 2011 / 10:00 am

Rodney Stuckey Is Caught Between A Rock And A Hard Place

Rodney Stuckey

Rodney Stuckey (photo. Tom McKenzie)

UPDATE: Chad Ford is reporting that Rodney Stuckey is “balking at the Pistons’ 5-year, $40-$45 million offer.”

As a guard and then a Pistons executive, Joe Dumars is experienced at building Detroit into a winner and what parts such a run require. Not all of those parts are always easy to work with, and Dumars understands that playing with Isiah Thomas. But he’s proven his savvy as a GM in that same regard, turning Chauncey Billups from a journeyman to a building block after his arrival in 2002.

If he wants to turn Detroit, 30-52 during a contentious 2010-11 season, into a contender again for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot, he knows a first step would be keeping Rodney Stuckey as his premier guard. But at what cost?

The restricted free agent is going through his first negotiation of his career with agent Leon Rose, whom he hired this summer. Reports from the Motor City show he believes his market value is near $10 million per year, about a million less than teammate Ben Gordon‘s deal but a million more than Mike Conley‘s contract he signed with Memphis in November 2010.

Is Stuckey worth it? Certainly. He’s durable, playing at least 70 games in his three-year career, and averages 13.6 points per game in that time with a career-high 5.2 assists per game last season.

As a big, 6-5 point guard, Stuckey matches up well with the league’s trend of smaller starting guards, especially in his division with Derrick Rose, Darren Collison and Brandon Jennings. And Detroit’s resigning of Tayshaun Prince shows it wants to make a serious try at a playoff spot under new coach Lawrence Frank and owner Tom Gores. Stuckey knows any shot at a run will include him, and wants to use that to his advantage in negotiations.

Meeting with reporters last week, Dumars flinched when asked if the goal was the playoffs, saying: “Huh? We’re sure going to try.”

But Stuckey is a fulcrum upon which the Pistons’ playoff hopes teeter. Signing him to a mid-level exception of $5 million each year for four years seems out of the question because the contracts that surround him — with Gordon, who devolved into a role player under John Kuester, as a prime example — makes a deal like that look like an insult.

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  • matt

    Dude is a SG that Dumars tried to turn into a PG.

  • Sean Sweeney

    Stuckey’s one of the more underrated players in the league. If Detroit is going to pay anyone from that team, it should be him.

  • Russ

    If Rodney Stucky is making $10 mil per year then it’ll show that this lockout solved nothing. $10 mil per year should be reserved for all-star caliber players.

  • Sean Sweeney

    Sounds like Detroit is offering $40-45 million and Stuckey wants more.

  • Banny

    7 mil a year tops.

  • Atticusmitch

    You don’t reward someone for not making the playoffs. Just because he had good stats on a bad team doesn’t mean he is good. He didnt produce wins. He is certainly not worth $10 milllion per season. Take the longevity of the deal for security. Besides Knight will start ahead of him eventually.

  • north

    His stats weren’t even that good. 13 ppg for the time he was on the court is average. Banny is right, $7 million per is his ceiling… 5 might be a bit low, 5.5 seems perfect. Tell him to lose the attitude and play ball.
    Guys like this make Derrick Coleman look like a saint.

  • Banny

    This article makes it seem like Stuckey is needed. He’s a solid player but hes not putting us over the top. We already overpaid twice. We can’t do it again.

  • beiber newz

    just me, but i don’t think it’s bad that he didn’t take the deal. stukey can ball.

  • thrillah

    @ Beiber Newz, Stuckey can ball? He can’t even shoot! 7 mil sounds just about right.

  • yentron

    10M per for 13 and 5? no way.

  • BiGShoTBoB

    I’m wit yentorn those stats aren’t impressive enough for 10 per.

  • ERIC

    He is an undersized 2-guard who cant shoot well or score efficiently.

    He is a big point-guard who cant pass well enough or quick enough to defend opposing team pgs.

    If he were putting up sick stats one could argue, but no stats, no intangibles, no real position and a team with overpaid wing players.

    If he is balking at 40-45mm, I’d dump the bum.

  • beiber newz

    would charlie v be getting paid more than him? hm

  • UncheckedAggression

    This guy is really overrated. He’s been about to bust out for how long now? Seriously, Detroit just doesn’t seem to want to admit they made a mistake with him. They were saying he was their future. He’s nothing special and if they keep treating him like he is, then it’s gonna limit the development of the team for years.

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    Where to begin…

    First of all, no, “10 million a year” belongs nowhere near “career high 5.2 assists per game” or “13.6 ppg”. Ben Gordon’s contract is way too large, but at least he scored near 20 ppg for a Chicago squad that put a scare into a legit team in Boston a few years back. Stuckey has put up decent – DECENT – numbers on a terrible team.

    Second of all, if he’s 6’5″, how exactly does he match up well with the league’s trend of smaller lead guards?!

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    Where to begin…

    First of all, no, “10 million a year” belongs nowhere near “career high 5.2 assists per game” or “13.6 ppg”. Ben Gordon’s contract is way too large, but at least he scored near 20 ppg for a Chicago squad that put a scare into a legit team in Boston a few years back. Stuckey has put up decent – DECENT – numbers on a terrible team.

    Second of all, if he’s 6’5″, how exactly does he match up well with the league’s trend of smaller lead guards?!

    Thirdly, if he plays best ON the ball, how does he make sense next to Ben Gordon, who plays the same way?

    Fourth, he’s already shown that he’s more than willing to clash with his coach. I give him a little bit of a pass on this one, since the rest of the team was doing the same thing. Still, when you’re rebuilding, you figure on having 2 coaches over 5 years. Are they willing to gamble that Stuckey’s going to get along with 2 different guys over that span?

    Fifth, shouldn’t a player just play his best and let THAT be the determining factor for his contract? Am I crazy? Desean Jacksons of the world need to shut up and play.

    Finally, Joe Dumars is lucky to have a job! He had a couple years earlier this decade in which he put together a championship team that lasted for a while. Then he drafted Darko Milicic, let his (quality) core sit while their value and ability declined, hired a coach that no one liked, traded away or let go his best players (Sheed and Billups), and has generally presided over a failing club.

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    PS Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva

  • Tee

    I said a long time ago. Joe needs to go. Terrible drafts, terrible trades, terrible FA signings, the team is put together terribly. Idk y he didn’t something for rip last year. Bad coaches. Can somebody tell me what has he done the 3-4 years? Seriously

  • the cynic

    Shouldn’t it read Pistons balk at paying Stuckey 40-45mil?