Detroit Pistons: 3 Players Who Joe Dumars Must Start Shopping Now
After making the Eastern Conference Finals six seasons in a row from 2003-2008, The Pistons have failed to make the playoffs since 2009 and have become cellar dwellers in the Central Division.
With the trade deadline approaching on March 15, general manager Joe Dumars has an opportunity to move some pieces to help return the Pistons to prominence.
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After resigning Prince for four years and $28 million, Detroit’s new ownership seemed serious about turning around the struggling franchise this season.
Combining a roster of youth in Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight with veterans like Prince has not panned out so far. The Pistons are 8-22 and 15.5 games out of first place in the Central Division.
Prince has been a team player since the organization drafted him in the first round of the 2002 draft. He is now in his tenth season, and the Pistons have not been a contender since 2008, the last year they played in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Trading Prince is best for him and for the organization to move on. He still has value, so now is the time.
The Pistons future lies around Monroe and Knight. Chauncey Billups and Rip Hamilton are gone, and it is time for a new generation of Pistons basketball.
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Stuckey is a good combo guard that is not great at either backcourt position. He has produced respectable numbers since being drafted 15th by the Pistons in 2007. He has averaged 13.6 points and 4.5 assists per game.
Dumars drafted Stuckey to be the point guard in Detroit, but he has shown to be better suited playing at the 2-spot because he lacks the athleticism and explosiveness that point guards like Rajon Rondo possess.
After re-signing in December for $25 million over the next three years, there is somewhat of a log jam in the Pistons backcourt. Shooting guard Ben Gordon is signed through the 2013-2014 season and his $55 million contract will be far more difficult for Dumars to move than Stuckey’s three-year-deal. Also, the emergence of rookie Brandon Knight clearly makes him the future point guard in Detroit.
Stuckey will not be happy on the bench, and while he will not be traded for a high draft pick or anything like that, trading him for an expiring contract could free up some cap space for the rebuilding Pistons.
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Another first-round pick by Dumars, Daye has been inconsistent since coming to the NBA in 2009.
Coming off his rookie season, Daye averaged 7.5 points and 3.8 rebounds in 20.1 minutes per game in his second NBA season. This season, he has regressed and looks the way he did when he was a rookie. Through 25 appearances this season, Day has averaged 5.2 points, 1.2 turnovers and 15.7 minutes each game.
On defense, Daye is not strong enough to guard any small or power forwards. He is listed at 6’10”, 200 pounds.
What makes Daye expendable is that he only has one year remaining on his rookie contract, and he is a work in progress. He needs to work on his consistency and build his frame. If he is able to do so, he has the potential to become a solid role player for a team.