Detroit Pistons: 5 Players That Still Need to Be Moved
The Detroit Pistons have had a fairly quiet offseason. For some teams that might be a good thing.
However for the Pistons it is not.
General manager Joe Dumars was able to trade away Ben Gordon in exchange for Corey Maggette. The move got the Pistons out from underneath the last two years of Gordon's contract. It also lines them up as players in free agency next summer with nearly $20 million in cap space available.
He also made some interesting draft picks in Andre Drummond and Khris Middleton. However there are a few players standing in their way of receiving consistent playing time.
If the Pistons want to start taking steps back to respectability, it is time to say goodbye to the old and say hello to the new. It is time to be rid of the junk and see what the young kids can do.
With Brandon Knight, Drummond and Greg Monroe they have some great potential. If Dumars is able to move a few of the guys on this list they might be able to reach that potential much sooner.
During the season Ben Wallace made it very clear that it was his final one. However just a few months later he is singing a different tune.
According to Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News, Wallace wants to return for his 17th season. If Joe Dumars were smart, he'd say thanks but no thanks.
Wallace is not the same player he was when the Pistons were championship contenders. He isn't even the same player that signed for big money in Chicago.
Last season he averaged 15.1 minutes a night, putting up 1.4 points and 4.6 rebounds. He averaged under one block, assist and steal a game.
Soon to be 38, what does he have to offer?
The Pistons would be much better off signing a young player to fill his role. It is hard to imagine that Dumars would be unable to find someone who is capable of matching Wallace's output.
It's time to let go of the past and look to the future.
Speaking of the past, Tayshaun Prince needs to go. As the only player who has been in Detroit from the championship days until now, it is time to set Prince free.
On a title contender Prince could be a great fit. On a rebuilding team he is an unnecessary luxury.
He is on the wrong side of 30 and probably won't be an effective player once the team is good again. He is a very consistent player who would be much better coming off the bench than being a starter.
The 12 points and four rebounds he gets a game are basically his career averages. While he has three years remaining on his contract, it is a very reasonable deal. He is making just under seven million per season.
It is time to see if Austin Daye or Jonas Jerebko are ready to fill that small forward spot for the next five years or so.
I know I am not the only one shocked that Charlie Villanueva is still a part of the Pistons.
After appearing in only 13 games last season due to various injuries, he was cut from the Dominican Republic national team for being out of shape. Whether his weight was the issue or his style of play, nobody really knows.
Either way it is no less embarrassing.
Villanueva has been a huge disappointment since coming over to the Pistons from Milwaukee. He had a career season in 2008-09, averaging 16.7 points and 6.7 rebounds. Both numbers are well over his career averages of 12.5 points and 5.5 rebounds.
With two years left on his deal many thought that he might be a victim of the amnesty clause. While it didn't happen this summer, it could happen next offseason when the Pistons are expected to be $20 million under the cap.
Either way I think it is safe to say that Villanueva's days in Detroit are numbered. The sooner he leaves the better so they can get a good look at Drummond.
It might seem strange, since they just traded for him, but Corey Maggette doesn't fit on this team. He is going to make over $10 million this season.
That makes him the highest-paid player on the team. Thankfully it is only for one season.
General manager Joe Dumars may view him as just an expiring contract, but wouldn't the team be better served by trading him for a young player or draft picks? Or even buying him out?
His ability to drive and draw contact could make him a valuable piece to a team in need of a slasher. That is, if he is able to stay healthy.
If Maggette does stick around for the entire season it will be interesting to see how coach Lawrence Frank uses him. Will he cut into the playing time of Tayshaun Prince or the next guy on this list?
A few years back Rodney Stuckey was the future of the franchise. Chauncey Billups was deemed expendable because of him.
If it weren't for the drafting of Darko Milicic, that may have been the worst move of Dumars' tenure as GM.
However since then it has become very clear that Stuckey is more of a shooting guard than a point guard. Further evidence of this was the drafting of Brandon Knight in 2011.
While still only 24 years old, he has failed to show any real improvement. In fact he has regressed over the past two seasons.
He has lost nearly two points a game off his average over the last two seasons. His assists dropped from 5.5 in 2011 to 3.8 last season.
Stuckey has also struggled with injuries for the past few seasons, missing 32 games over the last three seasons.
Now is the time to try and trade Stuckey. He is still young enough that someone may think that they can help him reach his potential. Otherwise they might just be stuck holding the bag like they have been in the past.