Nobody can fault the Pistons for showcasing their new faces incrementally. A team dying for attention should take full advantage of the deadest week on the sports calendar — baseball’s All-Star break. They introduced Italian League MVP Luigi Datome and announced the re-signing of Will Bynum on Monday, giving the return of Chauncey Billups its own individual moment amid the blaring trumpets and spraying of rose pedals today. If you combine the attendance of the multiple news conferences over the past month in Auburn Hills, it would equate to the third-biggest crowd for a Pistons game at the Palace in the past year. Why stop now? Why not hold a news conference for Rodney Stuckey’s and Charlie Villanueva’s expiring contracts? After all, they’re currently the most exciting aspects of the roster. The team’s biggest addition won’t come through free agency or the draft. It can only come through trade. As much as Stuckey and Villanueva have tormented everyone during their days here with their mercurial shifts in personality and performance, they’ve never been more important for the future of this franchise than they are now. The last year of a bad contract is high currency within the NBA’s new fiscal structure. Those expiring deals — totaling more than $17 million — are in high demand. Any major trade — whether it’s for Boston point guard Rajon Rondo or Toronto wing Rudy Gay — will include those assets. Those adamant that president Joe Dumars should have amnestied Villanueva’s contract a year ago and shouldn’t have picked up the option on Stuckey’s final year last month fell victim to the emotion of the moment rather than understanding the inevitable worth of dangling dead money in front of dying teams determined to be as bad as possible next season.
Detroit Pistons display patience with expiring contracts to dangle
Detroit Free Press | Jul 16