The NBA All-Star game is a prime time for reporters to get together and sort out fact from fiction as the trade deadline approaches. Rodney Stuckey has emerged a potential trade chip and trade target, but will the Pistons move him while they are still fighting for the playoffs?
While much of the trade deadline oxygen has been sucked up by the young and talented Greg Monroe and the overpaid "lets pretend this never happened Josh Smith, the most logical trade chip in the Pistons' stack is Stuckey, who is having a great year and is on an expiring contract.
But all signs point to the Pistons continuing to fight for one of the final playoff spots in the pathetic Eastern Conference. Detroit is only a half game back despite being eight games under .500 and owner Tom Gores indicated one of the reasons head coach Maurice Cheeks was fired was because he wasn't helping the team reach its full potential. Still, Stuckey's name was apparently on the lips of a number of basketball insiders, according to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio.
All-Star weekend is mostly entertaining because everyone is talking about Thursday's trade deadline. Some intriguing names to keep eye on as potential moving parts, mentioned to me by league insiders: Milwaukee Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova and guard Gary Neal; Philadelphia 76ers forward Thaddeus Young; Detroit Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey; and, of course, Rockets center Omer Asik.
For what it's worth, the Detroit beat writers seems more in the camp of Stuckey staying with the Pistons for a playoff push and the team allowing his $8.5 million to come off the books.
I wish the team was proactive enough to move Stuckey for something of value, and I believe that it's possible that the team could even take back a lesser scorer if said player had a more perimeter-oriented game. The team is desperate for 3-point shooting and should be willing to take back a non-expiring deal (within reason) for the expiring Stuckey contract. Stuckey would make a lot of sense on a contending team that just needs a little guard depth and has a surplus piece either at small forward or even point guard.