NBA Free Agents 2011: Rodney Stuckey Needs to Get Real with Contract Demands

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NBA Free Agents 2011: Rodney Stuckey Needs to Get Real with Contract Demands
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Four years into his NBA career, Rodney Stuckey is a pretty good player. Not great, but pretty good.

He apparently thinks otherwise. The time has come for him to get paid, and he thinks he should be paid a lot.

According to ESPN.com's Marc Stein, Stuckey and the Detroit Pistons have discussed a deal that would pay him in the neighborhood of $40 and $45 million over a period of five years. That's between $8 and $9 million a year if you do the simple math.

Stuckey, a restricted free agent, is looking for more. 

The logical conclusion to draw is that Stuckey is looking for at least $10 million a year, which was a theory offered up by Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News. That would put him beyond the range of players like Mike Conley and Marcus Thornton, who have both signed deals for about $8 million a year.

That would be cool, but the problem is that the $10 million per year threshold would put Stuckey more toward the Tony Parker and Chris Paul end of the spectrum.

That's great money. Not really good money.

Is Rodney Stuckey worth more than what the Pistons are offering?

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The Pistons should only pay for what they're going to get, and what they're going to get from Stuckey is about 15 points and five assists per game, and probably fewer dimes if Stuckey plays off the ball alongside rookie point guard Brandon Knight.

If so, he's not worth $10 million a year. In fact, he's probably not going to be worth what the Pistons are offering.

Stuckey had better be careful about pushing his luck. The Pistons have dug in their heels and told him they won't do a sign-and-trade, and offer sheets have not been forthcoming. Stuckey can either accept Detroit's offer, or take their qualifying offer and become an unrestricted free agent in 2012.

That would be risky. If Stuckey's not worth $10 million a year now, he would have to prove he is throughout the course of the season. If he ends up having another Stuckey-like year or worse, he's not going to find any $10 million per offers waiting for him.

If Stuckey wants to take his chances, he's more than welcome. If he wants to be safe, he's better off accepting what the Pistons have to offer.

 

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