Corey Maggette sat on another road bench, in another road city, and reflected on his year that wasn't. The Detroit Pistons forward has been ready and able to play all year, if only his head coach had been willing.

Why it happened -- why it really happened -- is anyone's guess.

Lawrence Frank said the team just decided to go another direction so he opted against using a player making just less than $11 million this year, in favor of those who might be part of the team's future.

Except Maggette hasn't seen the court in more than three months and the mixed message from his head coach has muddled his situation for anyone watching it.

Maggette's last game was Dec. 15, at a time when Frank already was getting hammered with questions about playing for the future, and regularly offered the rote response that the Pistons would use their best available players in a quest to win games, and if the focus shifted to the future at some point, then it is a coach's responsibility to say as much and be honest with his team.