In an effort to dispel rumors that he was unhappy with having been traded to Detroit, Tayshaun Prince opened up to the media after the Wizards' game to set the record straight about the trade and his thoughts regarding his role in Detroit. Per Dave Pemberton of The Oakland Press:
"I wasn't expecting to be traded at all, and all of a sudden, we're getting on the bus to go to practice and I was told I was being traded. I mean, I didn't even know where I was going, I was pissed off from the get-go, coach Stevens and I talked and there was no word on where I was going, then 2, 3, 4 phone calls, I get a phone call from Arnie (Kander) and I'm like, hold on, I didn't get traded to Detroit did I? Thats how it worked out."
The trade wasn't just a surprise to Tayshaun, as Danny Ainge told The Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett that the Celtics had been working the phone non-stop prior to the deadline, but nothing substantial had materialized. With an hour to go and no deals set in place, Boston was ready to stand pat before his phone started ringing:
"It was very much a surprise, I just didn't think we were going to be able to do anything. Things were quiet for us, and then some opportunities opened up. There was the possibility of the Detroit trade, but I just didn't think the Phoenix deal was going to happen. I think it was just the other stuff going on there that changed that."
According to Bulpett in the same article, it was the Phoenix Suns who originally reached out to the Celtics and it is suggested that Stan Van Gundy was the one who then came calling. In a separate interview with The Boston Globe, Ainge tells Adam Himmelsbach that he notified Prince of Stan Van Gundy's interest in trading for the grizzled veteran. Ainge and Tayshaun had an understanding that if Prince was still a member of the Celtics after the deadline, they would explore a buyout agreement. However, Van Gundy was not aware of this when they set up the trade in the final hour, and it was certainly never his intention to buyout Prince after the fact. Prince knew this, but his head was still spinning, because 'he expected one thing and it didn't happen.'
Prince probably had intentions of joining a contender, perhaps the Clippers, but no matter the color of the jersey he says he will play to the best of his ability, and was insistent in reminding reporters that his role in Detroit will not be solely as a mentor. (via The Oakland Press' Dave Pemberton)
"It's tough being a mentor because I can still play, I want people to be careful when they say 'mentor' because a lot of times when people say 'mentor' they're trying to say you're on your way out, and, I'm not on my way out. Definitely. I mean, I'm obviously not going to be the 40 minute type of guy I used to be, nothing like that, but I'm not by any means on my way out. So yes, I'm going to be a mentor, but at the same time, I'm going to play, I know I can play, whether its 20, 25 minutes, whatever it takes, I'm still going to play."
Prince is definitely not on his way out, having posted solid numbers in Boston to the tune of 8.4 points and 3.3 rebounds in 22 minutes per game. In the nine games he appeared in, Tayshaun came off the bench and shot at an extremely efficient clip of .559/.625/.833, and has had a very good 2014-2015 season so far. At this point, Caron Butler is starting at small forward, but if Prince continues to be extremely efficient offensively and brings his signature defense, we could ultimately end up seeing the Piston 22 back in the starting lineup. On Tuesday at least, he's expected to come off the bench.