Trade rumors are going to hover over the Pistons as long as they have the aging, expensive contracts of Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince on the roster. With the team visibly getting younger and Dumars having said there are no sacred cows, these two are glaring trade bait should another team want them.
Hamilton was at the meat of the rumors before the season started because Detroit signed star shooting guard Ben Gordon. With the drafting of Austin Daye, the Tayshaun Prince rumors picked up steam, but both were predominantly squashed throughout the rest of the offseason and preseason.
When Hamilton didn't show up to practice the day before the opener, rumors of a potential trade resurfaced, only to be shut down again when he played so well with Ben Gordon and the other guards in the opener.
Then last night Tayshaun Prince's 496 consecutive games played streak mysteriously ended because he showed up with what the official Pistons twitter said was a "lower back strain." If that didn't raise an eyebrow or two, then I don't know what would. Prince has been so durable over the past seven years that he has played in nearly 500 straight games and then he just shows up with an injury that keeps him out? It certainly could happen, but warrants some skepticism.
Figure in that another piece mentioned in the offseason trade rumors, Jason Maxiell, was a coach's decision scratch and with no apparent reason given to the media (I can't find anything at least). I realize Jerebko and Wilcox appeared to pass him in the rotation during the preseason, but Maxiell was averaging 16 minutes in the first three games and wasn't playing poorly. Also, he's another big body that could have helped out with Howard last night (had Howard not been in foul trouble). Going from 16 minutes to zero minutes in a game where big bodies are a commodity and a starting forward is scratched before the game is pretty confusing.
HoopsWorld picked up on this and said the arena was "buzzing" with the possibility of a trade involving Prince and Maxiell, but claim Dumars "quickly shut down" any rumors:
The decision last night in Detroit to sit Tayshaun Prince who by all accounts could have played according to sources, was labeled a precautionary move related to a lower back strain according to the team. That did not stop the arena from buzzing about the possibility of a trade involving Prince and forward Jason Maxiell.Dumars quickly shut down the notion of a trade saying the decision was about injuries, and that he had enough new faces.
The odds the Pistons open up to the idea of a deal increases if their young core continues to win without the veterans.
So what does everyone think? Did anyone else wonder this? Does Dumars have something in the works involving Prince and Maxiell? And if he does, who would be the trading partner?