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Top NBA Free Agents: Detroit Pistons

If you haven't already, I suggest you check out Tom Ziller's list of the Top 79 NBA free agents available. Before we completely set our sights on who we want the Pistons to target, I figured it might make sense to think about who we want the Pistons to keep. Here's TZ's take, starting with Rodney Stuckey, who comes in at No. 7:

Guard, 25 years old, 6'5
Restricted free agent; Detroit can match any signed offer sheet
2011 stats: 15.5 points and 5.2 assists in 31 minutes per game; 18.4 PER

While everyone was focused on the drama in Detroit last season, Stuckey quietly began to realize his promise. he found his way on offense, becoming for the first time in his career a scorer with average efficiency. He's also become a nice playmaker (27 percent assist rate) who limits mistakes (13 percent turnover rate).

His offensive game is predicated on getting to the rim. This is partly by design -- Stuckey's of the Tough S.O.B. point guard strain making its way through the league -- but always necessary due to the guard's shaky jumper: he shoots a career 26.6 percent from long-range.

Stuckey should be a good defender, but needs some help from a coach and a team with a plan. Lawrence Frank, Detroit's new coach, could be just the salve. It's too bad the Pistons drafted Brandon Knight, meaning that Stuckey's going to have to let the market and not a desperate Joe Dumars determine his value.

The selection of Knight was met with mixed reactions (I'm being kind) among DBB's faithful, but regardless of how you feel about him, Ziller makes an excellent point: his presence should prevent Joe Dumars from going nuts and giving Stuckey a Mike Conley-esque (five years, $40 million) contract. Right? Given Dumars' recent history, I'm not sure he sees a connection, but hopefully the new voices in the room will make him think twice. Moving on ...

Small forward, 31 years old, 6'9
Unrestricted free agent
2011 stats: 14.1 points and 4.2 rebounds in 33 minutes per game; 15.1 PER

Prince is a jump-shooting wing best-served taking 10 or fewer shots per game, one whose defense was always highly rated but who doesn't seem to have played a lick of it since the Pistons fell from grace. He's a hard player to judge given the rubble from which he emerges; as such, if he finds the motivation to start anew, he could be a bargain. But it's a strong if. There's a reason it seemed so few teams tried hard to grab him for the stretch run last season.

You know how there are some players you need to watch 50 times a year to understand how valuable they really are? Players that the national media sleeps on because they don't see all the little things they do game in and game out? Prince is like the opposite of that. He's built a reputation as a defensive stopper, but he's been anything but in his last several playoff series -- and that was a few years ago. Perhaps I'm taking him for granted, but I'm ready to move on.

37. Chris Wilcox: Wilcox, 29, registered the same PER as rookie Greg Monroe (18) last season, behind only Rodney Stuckey (18.4) on the Pistons roster. Wilcox received 17.5 per game as a reward.

38. Jonas Jerebko: Jerebko is the first NBA player from Sweden that totally looks Norwegian.

Jerebko seems incredibly low, but see above: he's one of those guys you had to watch 50 times a year to truly appreciate -- and that was before he sat out an entire year with an Achilles injury. So really, no problems here.

60. DaJuan Summers: Summers played more minutes in each of his three seasons at Georgetown than he has over his entire two-year career with the Pistons.

Last but not least:

74. Tracy McGrady: Last season, McGrady had his most efficient shooting season since 2007. Last season, McGrady was still far less efficient than the average NBA player (50 percent TS%).

What's your take? Are you willing to cut ties with Stuckey and Prince, or are they still a good fit for Detroit?