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Breaking down the Pistons

June 11, 2010



John Stroba- Writer



The Pistons do have a lot of options heading into the offseason, their worst contract belongs to Rip Hamilton (3 years left around 38 million) and even that could be unloaded this season. To do that some teams are going to have to swing and miss for the cream of this year's FA crop, but that is certainly possible. Before the draft takes place in a couple weeks, it is a good idea to look at everyone still under contract (and Ben Wallace) and see what their future might hold for them.



Rodney Stuckey G: No other way to put it, Stuckey did have a very bad year last year. He does not much range beyond the arc (.228 from deep last year). While his scoring did increase (3 points in 3 more minutes per game last year), his field percentage was a very bad .405 overall. He did not take that next step to be a 6-7 assist guy last year either putting up only 4.8 dimes. His turnovers stayed the same though. Stuckey did go to the line a lot more (nearly 5 times a game) last year. While he does not have much range on his outside shot, he does have a pretty good mid range game. Not like Rip Hamilton's but it is solid enough. Dumar did make a point about Stuckey having 3 different coaches in 3 years, and to a degree I will buy that does stunt some of his growth. The reality is that Stuckey and Rip Hamilton just cannot coexist in the same starting lineup. They duplicate too many of the same skills. Stuckey could be dealt, but Dumars surely would prefer moving Rip Hamilton instead. More than likely Stuckey is going to be the starting point for the Pistons next year.



Tayshaun Prince SF: I think that Dumars would really prefer keeping Prince if he does have a choice between him and Rip. Prince is still a glue guy, solid defender though not what he once was and good enough scorer with a nice touch on the deep shot. He also does have an expiring contract that is going to make him very attractive to a lot of teams that miss out in FA. There are also options in Austin Daye, Jonas Jerebko and a possible draft pick would (in theory) make Prince's loss easier to take. If Dumars wants to clear house, I think Prince could very easily be moved on draft night for like the Clippers #8 pick. Of course, I think that deal only comes if they move up in the draft to grab Favors.



Rip Hamilton SG: I like Rip and what he brings to the table. However, it is time for Hamilton to go. He just does not mesh well with this group at all. The Pistons are committing to Stuckey as their starting point, and Hamilton just duplicates too many of those same skills. Now moving Rip is easier said than done, because he does have 3 years remaining on a contract that is pretty big (almost 38 million), so that contract is not going to get much back but a bad contract in return. Even with that being the case if the Pistons could bring someone in that can play down low (like Elton Brand), their roster would be much better balanced. And in the long run be better for them. With Rip gone then, Ben Gordon can move into the starting lineup and all of a sudden there is a major deep threat. In addition, to a high level scorer that can win games himself just by scoring. Making it harder to move Rip is the fact that he is coming off a season marred with injuries and career low in shooting percentage (.409), worst 3ball in 6 years (.297). It is going to take a coach that really does love what he brings to the table (Doug Collins in Philly fits that category) to make a deal for him.


Ben Wallace C: Ben does show that last year he still does have something left in the tank. He is a Free Agent, and Dumars wants him back. The question is Ben going to be retiring. Dumars recently said that Ben and Charlie V. have been in the gym the most this offseason. So it sounds like Ben is going to be coming back. If/When he does come back, it is still not clear what his role is going to be. Dumars says he wants a tough team out there on the court and Ben is certainly that. Ideally though, the Pistons would be like Ben to come off the bench. While still a very good rebounder and solid defender, Wallace is not the player he once was and shaving a few minutes off his average would not be a bad thing at all.

Jonas Jerebko F: Jerebko is one of the few bright lights in a rather dismal Pistons season last year. He hustles after everything which makes him a fan favorite. Probably not big enough to be 4 full time. He does have a decent enogh shot(.481) that does have a bit range on (.313 beyond the arc). If Prince gets dealt then he will be in the mix for a starting 3 spot (depending on what Detroit does in FA). However, those hustle qualities (and his small contract) make an attractive trade piece, and Jerebko could be traded if it brings in a much bigger piece for the Pistons.

Ben Gordon SG: A very down year for Gordon, he never seemed to get over that early season ankle injury. And as a result of not starting and injuries proceeded to go on to worst year as a pro. Make no mistake though this guy is the starting 2 guard for the Pistons (maybe as soon as this season), because Gordon can really light it up when he gets the minutes (21.1 ppg in 17 starts). Not the defender that Rip Hamilton is, but a much more explosive scorer with excellent range on his shot. At this point that is what the Pistons really need. Not going to be dealt this offseason. Probably the starting 2 guard next year.

Will Bynum PG: It is not saying much, but probably the best pure point on the Pistons roster these days. He can score a good bit. Decent enough but not a great playmaker. He is small and can be taken advantage of on the defensive end. A free agent, but probably back with the Pistons if he does have a small contract for depth reasons.

Charlie Villanueva F: Without a doubt a very bad season that Charlie V. is turning during his first year in Detroit. He can stretch defenses with the 3 ball when it is working, but he really needs a guy down low that can score to play off of. He does not bring great defense or rebounding to the floor, so if he is not hitting then there is little else there. Not going to be traded this offseason, but he really needs to show something next year.

Jason Maxiell PF: Maxiell is what he is at this point. He rebounds pretty well (especially on the offensive glass) and can make the spectacular dunk. He is very aggressive and a beast in the paint. However, due to being undersized he struggles defending players that have good length. His contract is solid though not a bargain (5 million per the next 2 years and a player option at 5 as well), and its mid size could be used if Dumars is making a trade. Maxiell is probably back in Detroit though how big and what his role off the bench is yet to be seen.

Austin Daye F: He is a project but does show some flashes throughout last season. Too slight to be playing the 4 on a consistent basis. Does have some range on his shot and is a good and willing passer too. Should Prince get dealt then he is going to be competing with Jerebko for the starting 3 spot.


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