Mr. sixth man, Rodney Stuckey, definitely had an interesting season in the Motor City. He had solid numbers and was fairly consistent, playing in 73 games for the Pistons this past season.
There is no doubt about what you are getting each season, the guy is a scorer. He has spent his entire seven-year career in Detroit, and has only averaged single digit points one time, his rookie year. He clearly has a natural ability for putting the ball in the basket, something every team needs in the NBA. He averaged just under 14 points per game this year, a solid number considering his playing time was reduced to get a look at some younger players. His .436 field goal percentage was a respectable number that shows he was clearly one of the better shooters on the team.
Believe it or not Stuckey is the longest tenured player on the Pistons, and is clearly a veteran presence on the team. He knows his role, and does a good job of staying in it. He could start, and log more minutes for plenty of teams in the NBA (He may just do that if he signs elsewhere in free agency), but in Detroit Stuckey knew he was coming off the bench. His job was to come in, provide offense, and lead the second unit, all things he did very well.
It’s a nice story that Stuckey has been with the Pistons his whole career, but now that his contract is up, it is time to determine his real value. Stuckey’s main flaw is that he can’t shoot the three ball. He shot 27% from deep last season, and has a 29% mark for his career from behind the arc. Essentially, Stuckey gets his points in the mid-range game, a rarity in the modern NBA. He offers little floor spacing because defenders can sag off him, and defend him from the 3-point line in. Spacing is the first thing new head man Stan Van Gundy is looking for on offense, which doesn’t bode well for Stuckey staying in Detroit.
Stuckey also doesn’t offer much defensively. He always seems to be so locked in on the offensive side of the game, and pays defense little mind. He will need to be a part of a team-first defensive effort if the Pistons are going to turn it around in the future.
It really could go either way with Stuckey. He could be re-signed (He would have to take much less than the 8.5 million he’s been making), or the Pistons could let him walk in free agency. He just doesn’t seem to be a fit in what Stan Van Gundy is trying to incorporate offensively. SVG wants 3-point shooters to surround Andre Drummond, not mid-range jump shooters, and certainly not for 8.5 million a year. If he does leave in free agency, teams will know what they are getting with Stuckey. He has proven year after year he knows how to get buckets.
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