Last week I wrote that the Pistons might be better off parting ways with Rodney Stuckey. My conclusion was based by a variety of things, but one of them was an unstated assumption that it will be hard to move either Hamilton or Gordon – both of whom are relatively unproductive, highly paid shooting guards. Because of this, it doesn’t make much sense to me to bring back another relatively unproductive shooting guard who will probably command a salary above the Mid Level Exception, and perhaps significantly more.
Joe Dumars doesn’t seem to agree.
KL: With Rodney, as I said, a restricted free agent at the end of the season. As we know, the history of restricted free agency is it’s been pretty restrictive. There hasn’t been a lot of movement there, but we don’t know what the new collective bargaining agreement will look like. The CBA aside, do you go into this off-season still intent of bringing Rodney back?
JD: Oh, yeah. Absolutely. There’s no question about that. Rodney is maybe 24 now and he’s a good, young player. We like him. He’ll be a part of our core going forward and we have every intention of re-signing him and going forward with him. [...] This kid is a good young player, we really like him and we have every intention of re-signing him. Position wise, we’ll figure that out. Right now, you don’t even know what your roster will look like. It’s way premature right now.
Well, at least he’s high on Jonas, too:
JD: … We absolutely love Jonas and we look forward to him playing here for a lot of years.
KL: I know the better scenario would have been watching him develop as a second-year player. Is there anything positive that can come out of him having to go through this?
JD: I think this kid had his head on straight from the beginning, but usually when you go through something like this you come to appreciate it even more. Not that he didn’t before, but this can only help him appreciate and embrace the game even more. I think he’s going to come back and you’re going to see him play with the same passion and fire that he played with before.
HT to Steve Kays for alerting me of this… somehow, I’d missed this interview in the midst of a hectic week!