Now that we are in the offseason, the Chicago Bulls front office should be hard at work to find possible pieces to help build around the core of Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson, Jimmy Butler and Joakim Noah. One of the Pippen Peoples, Leroy Boyd asked me a couple times in the comments section about Rodney Stuckey, an upcoming free agent that has spent his entire career in Detroit. The Bulls are going to have to bolster their bench as well as find a solid backup (aka insurance policy) for Derrick Rose. This is going to have to be done on a swap meet price based on the budget of Jerry Reinsdorf. Is Rodney Stuckey a good fit for the price? Let’s take a look shall we?
The Detroit Pistons decided not to renew the contract of Joe Dumars, the long time President of Basketball Operations. Even though he constructed a team that was very successful in the early 2000’s which included a NBA 2003-04 championship team that destroyed Kobe and Shaq’s Los Angeles Lakers 4-1.
A series of coaching changes and bad free agent signings, most notably giving Charlie Villanueva anything more than movie tickets and money to buy popcorn. But the move that really turned the franchise for the worst was when Dumars pulled a trade with the Denver Nuggets acquiring Allen Iverson while sending Chauncey Billups to Denver.
This move was basically handing the keys over to Rodney Stuckey, who had made strides to the point that Dumars felt that it was time for the franchise to move forward with Stuckey as the starting point guard while Allen Iverson had an expiring contract that could free up cap space.
Look I’m an Allen Iverson fan to the fullest. But that trade was AWFUL. Iverson came in and destroyed the chemistry to the point that he was sent to the bench. Eventually the team dismissed Iverson from the team. Billups on the other hand got Carmelo Anthony out of the first round of the playoffs the only time that he was in Denver, leading the team to the Western Conference Finals.
The decision for Dumars to go with Stuckey is one of the main reasons why the Detroit Pistons are where they are now. Rodney Stuckey has been woefully inconsistent throughout his career. In my opinion his shoot first mentality has been an issue based on the fact that he takes shots when the defense presents better options that the Pistons offense needed to take advantage of.
Now I’m not saying that this guy doesn’t have talent. He does bring things to the table that the Bulls can use. Last year when Stuckey was with the Pistons playing the sixth man role, he was the team’s fourth leading scorer at nearly 14 points per game. That would make the Clippers Jamal Crawford proud. Stuckey also was adept at taking the ball to the rim strong and drawing fouls and getting to the line. Now when he gets there, he knocks them down too. He led the Pistons in free throw shooting at 83%.
But is that worth the 12 million dollars the Detroit Pistons paid Stuckey last year? My money says no. I’m pretty sure Jerry Reinsdorf’s money pretty much says the same especially when that’s about the salary range of Joakim Noah who just made the NBA All-Defense first team and is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year. What’s it worth to the Bulls to bring in a point guard who couldn’t crack the starting lineup with Brandon Jennings as the point guard who’s a shoot first point guard who can’t shoot? Just sayin.
I wrote a piece about Kyle Lowry and if he would fit in to the Bulls plans. I don’t think so but I do like this situation better. Rodney Stuckey really does need a new start and he could fit in well with the Bulls. He does play good enough defense that Tom Thibodeau would not pull out the rest of his hair. He shoots well enough that I won’t pull out the rest of mine.
Enough of the speculation Pippen Peoples, let’s get to logistics. Well he would be a nice fit for the Bulls there are some things we have to look at.
1) Detroit might resign Rodney Stuckey at a reduced rate.
Like I said before, 14 points off the bench is a little “Jamal Crawfordish” if you will. For all of the Detroit problems that went on last year (Boy there was a ton) it looks like the blame will go to Dumars and Josh Smith who backslided so much that a Baptist preacher would praying for him. Smith was terrible and Detroit will probably have to get used to it. Detroit would take Carlos Boozer in a trade and a promise to buff the United Center floors for the next five to ten years if the Bulls would take Josh Smith’s contract. Get an idea of how bad he was last year. He makes J.R. Smith look like Kobe Bryant.
Stan Van Gundy likes what he likes. He wants players that are tough and that can be coached. I feel Rodney Stuckey is one of those guys. Players can’t get better if a franchise has a revolving door of coaches. Stability is here and Van Gundy is going nowhere.
2) Can the Chicago Bulls afford him?
No one going to give Rodney Stuckey 12 million dollars ever again. We all know that. But how much of a pay cut is Stuckey willing to take. There are teams that could use Stuckey to bolster their backcourt (Houston could use him in place of Jeremy Lin.) Dealing with finances, will the Bulls open up the wallets and pay Stuckey 5-6 million a year. Understand Stuckey is not a minimum salary level point guard. If the Bulls keep talking about Nikola Mirotic’s mid-level exception and they have to fill out a roster, what money will they have left to pay the guy?
3) Will Stuckey deal with coming off the bench??
I know what you’re thinking…Stuckey came off the bench in Detroit. So? that doesn’t mean he’ll accept that in Chicago. Here’s the thing. I’m sure no one will have an issue playing behind Derrick Rose. He’s Derrick Rose, hello? But will Stuckey play behind Jimmy Butler. In Detroit with all the changes going on, no one would be stupid enough to make waves on the Pistons roster (oops forgot about Josh Smith, forgive me Pippen Peoples.) But it’s still difficult to come off the bench when you were starting for a extended period of time. If he comes to Chicago, it has to be clear what Stuckey’s role will be.
Well Leroy, there you have it. I like Rodney Stuckey and he would be a great fit for the Bulls in the right situation. I actually like him better than Kyle Lowry. However, I don’t think he can come based on the salary constraints. We are really going to have to wait on the draft because that will show the direction the Bulls are going to go in free agency. If they draft big, they will chase the back court in free agency and vice versa.
Hey Pippen Peoples, if you have a question that you want my opinion on, please go to the comments section below and ask. This article came from Leroy Boyd simply asking for my opinion on Rodney Stuckey . I love the feedback from all of the Pippen Peoples. I take them seriously and will do my best to answer them based on the down period before the draft. Understand it’s my opinion but I will do my best to educate and show my point of view so you can see what the future holds.
Always remember this is YOUR website that is run to spark discussion and debate. All of us have one thing in common. We love the game of basketball.