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What a long, strange trip it has been for Rodney Stuckey.
He was essentially acquired for Darko Milicic and was a much higher draft pick than most assumed he would be.
In fact, few had heard of the swing man when he was drafted.
Then he got hurt and had a truncated rookie year.
Then he came on in the playoffs and became a spark plug off the bench.
Then he became Chauncey Billups' replacement at point guard.
Then he essentially lost that job in the midst of the Kuester debacle and became everyone's favorite scape goat around town.
And then, he was cut loose.
Wait, that last one didn't happen yet. But could it?
Stuckey is currently a restricted free agent, but the Pistons have right of first refusal. So far, they are not tipping their hand as to what they are going to do with Stuckey.
They could elect to sign him to a multi-year deal like they did with Jonas Jerebko. They could choose to just tender him his qualifying offer of just over $3 million and let him become an unrestricted free agent next year. They could choose to trade him. Or they could cut him loose.
At this point, Stuckey is the Pistons best back-court defender. He's not a good shooter from deep, but he has an uncanny ability to get to the hoop. He has great athleticism, but he makes poor decisions with the basketball. He probably is not suited to being a point guard, but he lacks the range to be an effective shooting guard.
So what should Detroit do with Stuckey?
Personally, I think there are only two things to do with him. Either sign him to his qualifying offer and make him earn a big contract extension by his play, effectively putting him in a contract year. Or, trade him for a big man.
The Pistons can't afford to just let him walk unless another team offers him a huge deal. They also can't give him a contract extension just yet considering his questionable attitude. What if he doesn't like the new head coach? Then the Pistons are stuck with him for the life of his contract.
Regardless, this needs to be settled quickly.