Saturday, December 17, 2011
Pistons re-sign Rodney Stuckey
ESPN.com news services
Rodney Stuckey is returning to the Pistons.
Detroit announced Saturday that the restricted free agent signed a new contract. A person familiar with the deal told ESPN it is worth $25 million over three years. The Associated Press also confirmed the deal.
Stuckey has averaged 13.6 points and 4.5 assists over his four-year career with the Pistons. He averaged a team-high 15.5 points in 2010-11.
The Pistons went 30-52 last season and recently parted ways with Richard Hamilton, but they've been hesitant to clean house completely, hoping new coach Lawrence Frank can help this mix of players improve. The 25-year-old Stuckey definitely fits into their plans, although it's not clear whether he's more suited to play point guard or shooting guard.
The 6-foot-5 Stuckey missed Detroit's exhibition opener Friday night against Cleveland. Will Bynum started at point guard alongside Ben Gordon. Brandon Knight, the team's first-round draft pick this year, came off the bench at the point.
The Pistons struggled to co-exist last season with coach John Kuester. Stuckey was benched barely a week into last season and again with just over a week to go when there was friction between him and Kuester.
When he returned to the lineup, Stuckey was terrific for his final five games, averaging 25.2 points and 9.4 assists.
Detroit drafted Stuckey out of Eastern Washington with the 15th pick in 2007, and the Pistons reached the conference finals in his rookie season -- the sixth straight year they made it at least that far. Stuckey has been a regular starter the last three seasons, but the team hasn't won a playoff game since 2008.
The Pistons will try to reverse their decline with a mixture of familiar faces and newcomers. Knight looked confident in his first preseason game, and newly signed swingman Damien Wilkins was a surprise starter while Tayshaun Prince sat out because of a knee problem.
Gordon's role could increase with Hamilton gone. In the frontcourt, the Pistons have a promising young post player in Greg Monroe, and forward Jonas Jerebko returns after missing all of last season with a torn right Achilles tendon.
Charlie Villanueva and Austin Daye both provide height and outside shooting ability.
Ben Wallace sat out Friday's game but is expected to play in Tuesday night's exhibition game at Cleveland.
Detroit opens the regular season Dec. 26 at Indiana.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.