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NBA Free Agents: Rodney Stuckey wants more than $8-9 million a year

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Just filed to ESPN: Pistons & restricted FA Rodney Stuckey at an impasse. Stuckey balking at Pistons' 5 year, $40-45 million offer
Dec 14 via Twitter for MacFavoriteRetweetReply

This is my nightmare.

Despite Stuckey's reluctance, the market for his services is likely softer than he realizes. As Vince Ellis noted earlier this week:

For one, he is a restricted free agent, so his leverage is limited. Second, a check around the league shows there is a perception that he is rated in a group of players just above the midlevel-exception level, which is worth $5 million. And that leads to another problem, which is the market for Stuckey.

Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News also suggests the ceiling for Stuckey's services is lower than $8-9 million a year:

If Stuckey's demands are deemed unreasonable by the Pistons, they could explore sign-and-trade possibilities. Or Stuckey could sign a one-year tender worth $3.85 million and become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

[...] Either way, it's obvious the Pistons don't want to sign Stuckey to the type of deals Memphis' Mike Conley ($9 million/year) or Sacramento's Marcus Thornton ($8 million/year) have. They want to ensure some kind of cap flexibility to make trades if the opportunity presents itself.

Considering he's a restricted free agent, there's literally no harm in allowing the market to set his value. If Stuckey is balking at Detroit's offer, let him find an offer sheet that's better. If the Pistons are serious about retaining flexibility, anything much higher the midlevel is time to walk away.

Update: Ford notes the Pistons are refusing to negotiate a sign-and-trade:

Stuckey's representatives, seeking an even bigger deal, have been contacting other teams the past few days, looking to broker a sign-and-trade deal. However, the Pistons are telling teams that they won't agree to a sign-and-trade for Stuckey, sources said.

If the impasse continues, Stuckey's reps are threatening to take the Pistons one-year, $3.87 million qualifying offer for Stuckey, which would make him an unrestricted free agent in 2012.

"We'll either come to a long term agreement or we'll do the one year qualifying offer," one source said.

Two thoughts: 1) Some threat -- that's actually a best-case scenario for Detroit, whether Dumars realizes it or not. It gives Brandon Knight a year to learn the ropes, and it gives the Pistons time to figure out if Stuckey can be a full-time two-guard.

2) Don't believe the "won't agree to a sign-and-trade" for one minute. If Dan Gilbert will approve a sign-and-trade for LeBron just hours after going scorched earth in comic sans, there's no reason why the Pistons wouldn't try to get something of value if Stuckey finds a legitimate suitor.