NBA Free Agency 2011: Detroit Pistons Overpay for Rodney Stuckey

Jay WierengaCorrespondent IDecember 17, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 24:  Rodney Stuckey #3 of the Detroit Pistons reacts in the closing minutes of the second half against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on February 24, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. The Clippers defeated the Pistons 97-91. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

I personally like Detroit Free Press Pistons beat writer Vince Ellis. I find him likable, insightful and generally well-versed in all things Pistons.

However, I find it laughable that he thinks that the Pistons made a good move by signing Rodney Stuckey to a three-year deal worth approximately $8.3 million per season.

Not only was this a moronic case of bidding against oneself, it sends the wrong message to a young core about the direction of this team.

There are pretty much only two ways to read into this signing, and they are both bad.

One, Dumars is scared that this team is very bad, and signed Stuckey to keep the team mediocre instead of terrible.

Two, Dumars actually believes that Stuckey is a rare talent who is worth borderline star money.

Considering the fact that it is only a three-year deal and not the five years that he is eligible for, I am guessing Dumars is thinking on the former and not the latter.

Right now, the Pistons are an incomplete team. They have some young talent, but they desperately need size up front. They are probably a very good draft or two from playoff contention, and they will also need to add some additional role players.

They are not devoid of talent, but they are overloaded with combo guards, and they only have about two or three legitimate big men on the roster.

So how does Ellis justify this signing? He points out that the Sacramento Kings threw a ton of money at Marcus Thornton even though he is an average player at best.

Really? One terrible contract by a team that needed to spend money just to get to the threshold of the salary cap is your justification?

The fact of the matter is that Stuckey has not improved in any way in his time with Detroit. He has regressed as an offensive playmaker, and has shown very little interest in improving his game.

He already thinks he is better than he is, judging by the fact that he rejected a similar offer in order to test the market.

What did he find out there? Not a single team willing to offer him a contract.

Therefore, Detroit bid against themselves for a player who is neither a true point guard, nor a true leader.

The most prudent move for Detroit would have been to sign him to the qualifying offer of $3.8 million for this season and make him prove himself. If it wasn't going well, they could trade him before midseason.

If it went well, they could extend him before the season ends.

Stuckey is not without his good qualities. He is the most athletically gifted player on the team, and he has an uncanny ability to get to the hoop. He has a good combination of size and speed, and he is a solid perimeter defender.

But he did not deserve this contract, and any attempt to justify it will be found lacking.

This was not a good day for the Pistons or the future of the franchise.