Stuckey, who wowed NBA personnel folks with a dynamic turn at the Las Vegas Summer League, broke his left hand in the Pistons’ final preseason game on Oct. 24 and was initially expected to miss six weeks. But the multiple fractures to three fingers still hadn’t fully calcified when Stuckey was last X-rayed, two weeks ago at the six-week mark. That last bridge was crossed Thursday.
The Pistons held only a light optional workout Thursday, which means Stuckey’s first significant practice time will come on Saturday with the Pistons between home games Friday against Memphis and Sunday against Houston. Pistons coach Flip Saunders has said he would likely choose to have Stuckey participate in at least a few practices before activating him for games, though it’s possible Stuckey could be in uniform as early as Sunday.
Possible, but maybe not likely. From A. Sherrod Blakely:
But Saunders cautions to not look for him to be in the lineup immediately.
"Once he starts going, it'll be at least a week or two before he'll do anything more than that," Saunders said.
Still, this should get interesting. Flip Murray has been getting DNP-CD's left and right (six in the last eight games, to be precise). With Stuckey in uniform, will Murray even dress? Lindsey Hunter will have his playing time cut, but he's worth keeping active because he can come into the game and provide 3-5 minutes of shutdown defense when the Pistons need a few stops. Once upon a time I thought Arron Afflalo would be the odd man out once Stuckey returned, but he seems to have earned a spot in the rotation.
As currently constructed, the Pistons are one of the deepest teams in the league, but with so many small and expiring contracts belonging to relatively disposable players (Murray, Brezec, Herrmann), a little breathing room under the luxury tax (~$1.7 million) plus a couple of trade exceptions (~$2 million, courtesy of the Nazr and Delfino deals), I could easily see Detroit pulling a three-for-one trade to pick up an impact player.
Or, if the Pistons opt to move those guys piecemeal, does anyone see the Warriors wanting Flip Murray? They just lost Troy Hudson to a potentially career-ending hip condition and could use a backup point -- if Murray's shoot-first, gamble-on-defense philosophy would fit in anywhere, it's Golden State. Not sure who they have that Detroit might want, but they don't seem high on Patrick O'Bryant -- there's probably a good reason for that, but I'd rather roll the dice on a young seven-footer who might have upside instead of holding onto Murray until he walks as a free agent.